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Community Power Could Produce 45% of EU’s Electricity, Bring ‘Age of Energy Dinosaurs’ to an End

Andrewglaser / Wikimedia Commons
Andrewglaser / Wikimedia Commons

More than half of the European Union’s 264 million citizens could be generating their own power by 2050, meeting 45% of the continent’s electricity needs as part of a “democratized energy system,” according to a report released last month by Greenpeace EU, Friends of the Earth Europe, andREScoop.eu.

“The age of energy dinosaurs is over,” declared Greenpeace energy policy advisor Tara Connolly. The results show that “the EU should be clearing a path for forward-thinking, nimble energy citizens, not supporting big, polluting utilities,”

“This shows that people have the power to revolutionize Europe’s energy system, reclaiming power from big energy companies, and putting the planet first,” said FOE-Europe community power campaigner Molly Walsh. “We need to enshrine the right for people to produce their own renewable energy in European and national legislation.”

REScoop.eu President Dirk Vansintjan noted that “citizens are already playing a role in renewable energy projects across Europe—benefitting the local economy, as well as creating public support for the energy transition.” So “these projects could, and should, be the norm.”

The study authors, Netherlands-based consultancy CE Delft, note that “global and EU-wide decarbonization scenarios typically model increasing [renewable energy] capacities, but do not go into the details of how this is achieved and what role prosumers, also referred to as energy citizens, could play in these developments.” The study fills that gap with an Excel workbook containing the researchers’ detailed quantitative findings.