Once upon a time, long ago, some people had a wonderful dream, of a Europe running on green, renewable energy. However, there seemed to be no way of doing this, so they were mostly dismissed as idealists and hippies.
However, many years later in 2011, renewable energy technologies had developed so much and become such a normal part of life that a 100% renewable energy economy was considered an economically and technologically realistic vision for Europe in 2050 and supported by 200 companies.
The vision has now been set out in a declaration drawn up by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES).
With this goal in mind, supporters of the vision are calling on European leaders to “lead by example” as heads of state meet on 4 February to discuss energy issues and as the European Commission prepares its own 2050 vision for the future of energy in Europe.
Signing the vision means committing to promote an economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy to boost green jobs and economic development, energy independence and to tackle climate change.
So far, endorsers of the 100% renewables vision include technology developers and private equity companies. EWEA also supports the vision fully and has signed the declaration.
The case for 100% renewables is plain. In July 2009, the G8 leaders agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before 2050. The EU countries have already unilaterally agreed to cut emissions by 80% in 2050 and by 95% if other countries sign up to similar action. Given that transport and agriculture will still produce emissions the power sector will need to be 100% carbon free.
The 100% renewable energy declaration is available on www.100percentrenewables.eu