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Renewable Energy
To stop runaway climate change and increase our energy independence we must achieve 100% renewables in the EU by 2040. 

Why it matters

We need renewable energy to cut our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as fast as possible and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Solar and wind power, both onshore and offshore are the cheapest and most efficient technologies to achieve a rapid and environmentally-friendly energy transition. 

The EU has an essential role to play in setting rules that will allow a massive deployment of renewables while minimising impacts on nature and maximising benefits for people.

New permitting rules agreed as part of the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) include some positive things, such as shorter deadlines and better planning, but also exempt projects from important parts of existing nature protection laws, which could harm biodiversity and reduce public participation.

What WWF is doing

WWF is calling for at least 50% of the energy used in the EU to be renewable by 2030 and 100% of it by 2040 - and for this expansion to be based on wind and solar not new hydropower plants or high carbon sources of bioenergy. WWF is also working at national level to ensure that Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) reflect this target.

Offshore energy

Increasing offshore renewable energy (ORE) is essential for achieving 100% renewable energy in Europe, but this must be done in a way that protects our oceans and their ecosystems.

Oceans have played a huge role in absorbing our CO2 emissions and so reducing climate change, but for this and other reasons the resilience of our oceans is compromised. European seas are amongst the most intensively used in the world and their biodiversity is declining.

That is why the expansion of offshore energy must be done in a way that protects our oceans and their ecosystems, most of which are at risk.

What is the EU doing?

In 2023, EU Member States committed to achieve 116 GW of offshore wind by 2030, exceeding the 60 GW target set by the Commission in the 2020 EU strategy on offshore renewable energy. 

What is WWF doing?

WWF is part of the Offshore Coalition for Energy and Climate (OCEaN), a forum for both industry and civil society to discuss challenges and bring expertise to the nature-friendly deployment of ORE. WWF is working on developing standards for an ecosystem-based approach to maritime spatial planning, non-price criteria for offshore wind tenders, and better guidance on the intersection between energy and nature protection. 

© Hans Linde

Blowing in the Wind

WWF’s ‘Blowing in the Wind’ report presents an in-depth analysis of the state of play and projections on wind energy in the EU.

The report concludes that Member States’ projections are broadly in line with the new Renewable Energy Directive target of 42.5%.

Nevertheless, challenges remain as Member States will have to more than double their wind energy capacity (in GW) and triple their annual deployment. And only ten Member States’ projections are in line with the Paris Agreement Compatible scenario to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Read the report