In many ways energy powers our lives and we depend on a reliable supply of energy at an affordable price, but at what cost to our environment? The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2017 published today looks into Europe’s energy system and its transition towards clean, smart and renewable energy.
We still rely on the burning of fossil fuels to obtain most of the energy we use and the combustion of fossil fuels affects us all in one way or another. It releases air pollutants into the atmosphere and harms our health. It also releases greenhouse gases and contributes to climate change. We are at a critical decision point in time – the negative impacts of our current energy choices on the one hand, and the opportunities that clean energy sources offer on the other. This year’s ‘EEA Signals 2017 – Shaping the future of energy in Europe: Clean, smart and renewable,’ examines the state of play of Europe’s energy system and recent trends.
European countries consume less energy compared with 10 years ago, mainly due to energy efficiency gains. Europe also relies less on fossil fuels due to energy savings and the faster-than-expected uptake of renewable energy.
Signals 2017 includes articles looking at how Europe is making the shift to renewables and the benefits of improving our energy efficiency. It also profiles the impact of climate change on our energy system, the future of the electric car and its impact on the grid and an interview on biofuel production. Securing an affordable energy supply locally amid the ever changing global energy markets is also explored.
The EEA publishes Signals annually in an easy-to-read format exploring key issues of interest to the environmental debate and the wider public.