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

 

Will Europe lead the way towards 'zero deforestation'?

Blog entry by Sébastien Risso | December 2, 2015

Updated on 13 January 2016 From the time we’re in school, we are taught that forests absorb and store carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change, and that they produce and release oxygen.

Volkswagen's lies show need for real emissions tests

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | October 15, 2015

Caught red-handed for cheating on diesel emissions tests, German carmaker Volkswagen's actions in putting profits before public health have underscored the need for urgent reforms of car industry pollution laws. These reforms must...

Honouring courage and compassion: Peace Day 2015

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | September 22, 2015

I was 22 years old when I had to leave my homeland, South Africa. I had no choice. I was living underground for a year by then, to avoid being arrested. This was 1987, in the midst of one of the most bloody and violent periods in the...

UK’s proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant faces resistance on all sides

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | July 16, 2015

The plans for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley in the UK are too expensive, too late, won't help cut greenhouse gas emissions, violate EU competition law, and will distort Europe 's energy markets. On 6 July 2015,...

Remember the unstoppable power of contagious courage

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International ED | July 10, 2015

Thirty years ago, groups of individuals in New Zealand were preparing to leave their families, their jobs and their homes to set off in small boats across the Pacific Ocean into a nuclear weapons testing zone. They hoped that their...

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