The European Union needs a common vision for its energy future. A shift towards renewable energy sources will increase the security of supply, foster the competitiveness of the European economy and facilitate sustainability. In order to convince governments, businesses
and European citizens to support this shift, it is necessary to demonstrate the practical feasibility of the vision.
We are now at a critical point in time to accelerate the transition to renewables in Europe and to make necessary investments and adjustments. Around two thirds of all power plants will have to be replaced in the coming years. At the same time, large parts of the European transmission and distribution grid require modernisation and are in need of reinvestment. With the phase-out of nuclear power in several European countries, opportunities to replace large quantities of nuclear energy with renewables are plentiful.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation commissioned a working group of experts from politics, industry, applied science and civil society who have considered these challenges. As a result of a series of expert meetings, this report ‘A European Union for Renewable Energy’ provides a collection of policy ideas for two key areas that will define the future of renewable energy development in Europe: grids, and support and remuneration schemes for renewables. The report shall serve as a stepping stone on the path to our sustainable and renewables-based future. At a moment of deep economic and institutional crisis in Europe, the vision of a ‘European Union for Renewable Energy’ is a positive project to give the EU a new push for integration.