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

 

Chernobyl's children of hope

Blog entry by Andrey Allakhverdov | April 26, 2016

The word nadeshda means hope in Russian. The Nadesha rehabilitation centre was founded to give hope to children living in towns and villages contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster. Thousands of children across Belarus have...

15 things you didn't know about Chernobyl

Blog entry by Céline Mergan | April 26, 2016

*To commemorate Chernobyl 30th anniversary, Greenpeace activists placed 2000 lamps at the feet of the Atomium building in Brussels, Belgium, to create the image of a radiation symbol turning into a windmill, representing clean energy...

Belgium kicks the coal habit

Blog entry by mathieu soete | April 1, 2016

At long last, Belgium has shed the yoke of coal. On 30 March the last tonnes of the dirty energy source were burned in the Langerlo power plant, ushering in the long overdue end of a carbon intensive era. After Cyprus,...

Fukushima nuclear disaster: five years on and no end in sight

Blog entry by Junichi Sato | March 11, 2016

I’ve joined the Rainbow Warrior crew and a research team to investigate the marine impacts of radioactive contamination from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It was on this day, five years ago when a tsunami,...

EU: from climate champion to climate slacker?

Blog entry by sebastian mang | February 29, 2016

When meeting in March , European environment ministers must decide on a timeline for swift ratification of the Paris deal, and on a pathway to bring the EU in line with its Paris pledge. Europe must take charge and not allow its...

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