100% renewable energy in Europe by 2050
Confronted not only with an economic downturn, but in particular with
the challenges posed by climate change, an increasing fuel import
dependency and rising fossil fuel prices, Europe urgently needs to
develop solutions for a future sustainable energy system entirely based
on renewable energy sources.
The answers to today’s challenges do not lie beyond our reach – they
lie in the palm of our hands. By promoting energy efficiency and
renewable energy technologies, we will be able to tackle both security
of energy supply and climate change, while at the same time creating a
future-oriented sustainable economy with high-quality green jobs.
We therefore commit ourselves to promote an economy based on
energy efficiency and renewable energy and call on local, regional,
national and European leaders to support and advocate a truly
sustainable 2050 vision:
Leading by example: 100% renewable energy for the European Union!
Europe needs the courage and the instruments to fully explore its
energy efficiency and renewable energy potential and hence to bring
about fundamental structural changes in the way we produce and consume
energy. This change means no less than rewriting the rules of the game
in the 21st century. Every year, each EU citizen pays around €700 for
foreign fuel imports.
Investing these expenditures towards energy efficiency and renewable
energy in Europe can boost economic development, secure energy
independence, and deliver solutions to climate change.
The availability of renewable energy sources is vast enough to meet
our energy needs many times over, while respecting ecological limits and
social justice. In one day, the sunlight which reaches the earth
produces enough energy to meet the current global power needs for eight
Numerous studies demonstrate the technical and economic scope of the
EU’s energy efficiency and renewable energy potential: 100% renewable
energy is entirely feasible in 2050 if the right measures are taken
We urge European leaders to quickly act and make this 2050 vision become a reality for the benefit of all EU citizens by:
- Ensuring the timely and fully effective implementation of the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive in all EU-27 Member States
- Setting a legally binding energy efficiency target of at least 20% by 2020
- Removing all subsidies and structural advantages for fossil and nuclear energy
- Ensuring that immediate financial support is given to renewable
energy and energy efficiency measures in order to overcome the EU´s
economic crisis in a sustainable and forward-looking manner
- Recognising that bioenergy is a limited fuel source and ensuring
sustainability of all its use, including clear sustainability criteria
- Setting the right incentives for a European smart grid
- Redirecting existing and focussing forthcoming EU research &
development budgets as well as development and structural funds on
sustainable energy priorities, namely energy efficiency, and renewable
- Providing training and education of the workforce as well as information and market stimulation campaigns
European Commission (COM(2008) 781 final): Communication
from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the
European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
Second Strategic Energy Review. An EU Energy Security and Solidarity
Greenpeace/EREC: energy [r]evolution – a sustainable global energy outlook. 2008. Page 122.
See for example: Greenpeace/EREC: energy [r]evolution – towards a fully renewable energy supply in the EU-27. July 2010. EREC: RE-thinking 2050. April 2010; ECF: Roadmap 2050: a practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe. April 2010.