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

 

Rebuttal of the Economist leader article on European climate policy (edition dated 25...

Blog entry by Mark Breddy | January 24, 2014

The two main conclusions drawn by The Economist article – that binding renewables targets don’t work and that the EU should put all its eggs in the carbon market basket – don’t stand up to scrutiny. There’s very strong evidence...

European Commission wearing emperor's new clothes in Davos

Blog entry by Kaisa Kosonen | January 22, 2014

Climate change returned to the agenda of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. And I expect the all-too-familiar placatory phrases will be back as well: it is  very  urgent and  very  serious; it is getting worse, and  “we”  or ...

Strong EU support for Arctic 30 does not go unnoticed

Blog entry by jdenblan | October 25, 2013

Parliaments in democracies the world over are places of vigorous discussion and sometimes fierce debate. Views on either side of the political spectrum are often radically divergent. With members from political parties in all of the...

Fixing EU biofuels policy

Blog entry by Sebastien Risso & Sini Harkki | September 9, 2013

The biofuel policy of the European Union is at a crossroads. Currently, an EU law mandates the use of biofuels largely made up of food crops that, instead of reducing emissions, have been shown to increase them. In trying to extinguish...

Debunking the Commission's claims on nuclear state aid

Blog entry by Andrea Carta | July 26, 2013

For the last week, the European Commission has been at pains to explain itself after leaked plans to change EU rules and allow European countries to provide direct state aid to nuclear power came under heavy fire. Chancellor...

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