Europe’s energy crossroads

Europe's energy policy is at a crossroads. Its grid infrastructure and many power stations are ageing and major investment decisions are being taken. Important issues are at stake; energy security, stability of supply, growing demand, the risks of nuclear power, employment opportunities for thousands and the urgent need to cut emissions and head off climate change. An answer delivering sustainable, cost-effective and secure energy is within reach: energy savings and renewable power.

An offshore windfarm in Danish waters. With the right power grid, Europe could efficiently channel large amounts of wind power south and solar power north to balance supply and demand.

An increasing number of European businesses, organisations, politicians, cities and regions subscribe to the vision of a 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2050. The Energy [R]evolution study demonstrates how Europe can achieve the necessary transition. However, its realisation relies on political decisions at European and member state level. Greenpeace is focussing on the following policy fields:

A 100 percent renewables pathway
The EU is developing an energy roadmap leading to 2050. Greenpeace urges decision-makers to strive for an efficient and fully renewable energy supply, one that would enable Europe to achieve its emissions reduction target of 80-95 percent by 2050, while supporting a flourishing economy and delivering affordable energy to its people.

A 21st century electricity system
Europe's electricity networks and market rules suit large, centralised fossil and nuclear power stations. The system is inefficient, inflexible and threatens the climate. To enable the cost-effective integration of increasing shares of renewable energy and to reap efficiency and cost benefits from market integration, Europe has to upgrade and smarten its electricity infrastructure and the way it is operated. As the EU is developing different policy initiatives and an upcoming infrastructure regulation, Greenpeace’s Battle of the Grids report demonstrates what infrastructure improvements are necessary.

 

Phasing out fossil and nuclear energy
Dirty and dangerous nuclear and fossil fuel power sources are not compatible with a safe, secure and climate-friendly energy system and should be phased out. This is why Greenpeace is working to make the nuclear industry reduce its risks and pay its own costs in full. The EU should draw lessons from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, cease subsidies for nuclear energy and tailor its proposed nuclear waste directive to discourage the production of more radioactive waste while properly taking care of existing wastes.

Greenpeace opposes all fossil fuel subsidies, including those for experimental carbon capture and storage technology, a highly expensive distraction from investment into proven renewable technologies.

The latest updates

 

Greenpeace warns Europe is failing to learn lessons from Fukushima

Press release | June 29, 2015 at 9:20

Brussels – A new report published today by Greenpeace [1] found that Europe's nuclear regulators have failed to act on vital lessons from the Fukushima catastrophe, exposing Europeans to the risk of a nuclear accident. The release coincides with...

NGOs call for strong EU policies to beat the 2030 renewable energy target

Press release | June 15, 2015 at 11:00

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Greenpeace and WWF today called on the European Commission to propose a strong set of policies to ensure all countries contribute to delivering and surpassing the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target.

Commission and governments bow to coal industry pressure on air pollution limits

Press release | June 10, 2015 at 9:00

Brussels/Seville – EU government delegations that concluded a meeting in Seville late last night have backed weak limits for air pollutants from coal plants that would cause thousands of premature deaths, warned Greenpeace [1]. Over half of all...

Activists denounce industry’s control over EU decisions on coal pollution standards

Press release | June 1, 2015 at 9:46

Seville/Brussels - Fourteen activists wearing protective pollution masks held up banners reading “STOP KILLER COAL” and placed a 65 metres banner on top of Seville hotel Meliá Lebreros, where European government delegations are meeting to...

Weak EU coal pollution standards could cause 71,000 avoidable deaths

Press release | May 20, 2015 at 0:30

Brussels – Weak coal pollution standards being considered by the EU could result in 71,000 preventable deaths across Europe, due to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses associated with air pollution.

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