Energy in Europe is mainly produced from fossil fuels that used to be relatively cheap and convenient to transport and use. However these fuels emit pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Limited quantities in the world lead to unreliable supplies, causing erratic pricing in the short term and increasing the risk of socio-economic disasters in the medium term. The recent rise of to over $60 per barrel (September 2005) should be seen as a warning. Tackling these problems should lead to actions in favour of the rational use of energy and development of renewables. As we move forward, energy efficiency measures will become more and more costly because cheapest measures will be implemented first. Bioenergy currently represents two thirds of renewable sources, with a large potential waiting to be exploited. It will become cheaper with performance enhancement, economies of scale and competition. Bioenergy should increase more than twofold
The European policy in favour of renewables is ambitious. It aims at doubling their contribution to the total primary energy supply by 2010 and an objective of at least 20 per cent by 2020 is discussed at the European Parliament.