Europe needs diversified energy mix

2 October 2006

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for a diversified mix of energy sources in Europe order to mitigate risks associated with energy imports, which are set to increase dramatically in the foreseeable future.

Political, economic and technical problems may arise from excessive dependence on a limited number of energy sources such as oil and gas, in particular when these come from areas which are politically unstable, the committee says.

The EESC advocates renewables but says: “Even if the 2020 target of 20% renewables, proposed by the European Parliament, is finally met, it is unlikely that renewables could fully substitute fossil fuels and nuclear in the foreseeable future.”

The committee goes on to says that substitution of nuclear generation will increase emissions and therefore, “concerns regarding nuclear safety, decommissioning and spent fuel have to be addressed in order to continue and even increase the use of this technology, given its benefits vis-à-vis climate change, low economic external dependence and stable costs.” Support of even better nuclear safety and the implementation of an existing, practical solution to the question of spent fuel is therefore necessary, the report concludes.

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