President von der Leyen has pledged a “true recovery” with the European Green Deal at its heart. During her annual State of the Union address, the President of the European Commission called for “systemic modernisation across our economy, society and industry” in order to put the EU on a more sustainable path heading out of the crisis. Part of that plan includes boosting investment in the development and deployment of renewable and clean energy in order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Dionis, who is worried that if Europe prioritises renewables for its recovery plan, it will be economically disadvantaged compared to other regions of the world.

To get a response, we put Dionis’ comment to Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). How would she respond to Dionis?

For another perspective, we also put the same comment to Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit in Renewables and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Policy at the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission. What would she say?

Next up, we had a comment sent in from David, who hopes to see a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU has committed to a green recovery, but will it actually deliver?

We put David’s comment to Wendel Trio, Director of the Climate Action Network Europe, for his response:

Finally, we also approached Miguel Herrero, Policy Advisor at Solar Power Europe, to see what he would say:

Should the economic recovery plan prioritise renewables? Will the EU deliver a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic? Would a green economic recovery disadvantage Europe compared to other regions? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock – (c) jovanmandic
This debate is part of the ENERGY-SHIFTS project. By participating you are confirming you are 18+. Contributions to the debate may be directly quoted (anonymously) in the ENERGY-SHIFTS reports. If you do not want your contribution to be used, send us an email within two weeks of posting your comment.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 826025.

50 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Renewables is a hoax. See the documentary of Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs.

    • avatar

      Michaël Moore is volledig achterhaald heeft verouderde normen gebruikt, toen de hernieuwbare technologie nog in zijn kinderschoenen stond, die volledig NIET strookt met de werkelijkheid en de huidige waardes!

  2. avatar

    Energy must be cheap (cheaper than it is), reliable, abundant and clean. Renewables, better batteries and nuclear power should be leveraged to achieve this, as appropriate.

  3. avatar

    Absolutely! Not investing in renewables will be bad for the economy in the long run – let alone the planet. I really hope that the EU and more importantly its member states will actually achieve the targets of the Green Deal. They have to for humanity’s sake.

  4. avatar

    The only efficient green energy is nuclear energy.. Wind mills are not efficient and let a lot of damages with non recycled ailes and concrete basis…

    • avatar

      Wind farms can be very productive in the right conditions.

  5. avatar

    Nice to see that even IMF boss is in favour of supporting renewables. Seems like that old myth that sustainability and economic growth are mutually exclusive is finally dying out – even amongst economists.

  6. avatar

    Whats the point?! China and USA will never do same, so europe is just weakening its own economy for unreliable energy supply…

  7. avatar

    If you really are trying to help the environment, nuclear is the way to do it right now.

  8. avatar

    Nothing like an epidemic, to scam, do business I mean, with tax money and advance the agenda.

    • avatar

      Jose, could you explain a little bit your position?

  9. avatar

    since when does the EU care about our opinion?

    • avatar

      that’s your opinion. Based on?

    • avatar

      Based on what I see, I learn, I live.
      And not based on the internal regulations of the European Commission.

    • avatar

      the EU should care about EU citizens, about their health and well-being. So many regulations, but still no common charter to obtain responsible sustainable ethical socially acceptable standards for quality short and long-term leadership.

    • avatar

      Leadership by whom ?

    • avatar

      it seems to me you mean leadership by the EU

    • avatar

      And not by my health nor my freedom.

    • avatar

      by good leadership, I mean those who make decisions for the benefit and in the best interest for people in the EU and beyond to ensure people and their environment stay in good health.

    • avatar

      any leadership, national and international.

    • avatar

      Yes indeed. I knew that for years.

  10. avatar

    you cough in your elbow and then say hello

  11. avatar

    mean while massive illigal migration continues … get ur priorities straight it u keep importing the rest of the world no amount of green energy will safe us.

    • avatar

      While I do not agree with your xenophobia, I doubt I will be able to change it. However, you should consider this: If climate change continues, people near the equator will be forced to relocate. Therefore, if we ignore this major problem, immigration will increase. I bet that will get you to care about it.

  12. avatar

    Renewables? Yes, please!’!
    The coal exit also means new jobs. Decarbonization is a challenge, the challenge drives us towards innovation. Time to implement them.

    • avatar

      Totally agree, energy coming from coal needs a lot of water and water is something we need to think about.

  13. avatar

    Renewables will be extremely expensive as you have to build several systems each being able to deliver maximum demand. At night there is no solar so you rely on wind. But for a windless winter night you need storage. For several days at least. That means the period before you need huge surplus to fill your storage. (No such efficient system exists yet) So yes, relying exclusively on renewable will be extremely expensive and unreliable.

    • avatar

      @ignace,do you think the system storage is a prirority now?

  14. avatar

    Sure, Renewables – Yes, please. But the east part of our Union and its economy after years of communist regimes is fully rellyed on fossil fuels and coal. We need funds for transformation! #JustTransition.
    And have a look at the German case. Germany is supporting the EU #GreenDeal targets and at the same time is making a deal with Russian Gazprom to build another natural gas pipeline (NORD STREAM2). We really need renewables but what we really need the most is #EuropeanSolidarity!

    Apart from that the big task for an EU Commission is to check whether new green renewables solutions didn’t make more carbon footprint than fossil fuels.

  15. avatar

    In its profound nature, humanity can rebuild and crawl up
    – even from the deepest crisis. I guess it will be the case also this
    time. It is a perfect opportunity to look for new solutions, innovations
    – also in the field of energy. It’s not only about the funds made
    available but also about people’s will – sometimes even desperation –
    to think and do outside the box to improve their lives. It is also a
    perfect time for decision-makers to commit to prioritizing renewables
    wisely. That is in a way that would stimulate the economy, create new
    workplaces and opportunities, also for those affected by the COVID-19
    crisis. Will Europe be economically disadvantaged compared to other
    regions of the world by implementing such a policy? I don’t think so.
    One of the most encouraging signs of the first years of the XXI century
    is the growing consciousness of people regarding the environment and
    sustainable development. I genuinely believe that many of our future
    decisions as consumers will be based on criteria involving environmental
    concerns. With that respect, those who invest in these areas now – will
    benefit in the future.

  16. avatar

    Transition to the renewables must be linked to democracy, solidarity, justice.. otherwise we will repeat the colonialism ( cobalt mines) and create new forms if inequalities. We need to rethink the neoliberal model of capitalism.

  17. avatar

    Death Europe with your shitty renewable.

  18. avatar

    Citizens have not believed in Europe for a long time. It’s too late to move for the climate, it’s already started.

  19. avatar

    They should prioritize whatever is sustainable for the environment to protect natural diversity and stop spilling of natural resources.

  20. avatar

    Wouldn’t the EU be our worst nightmare?

  21. avatar

    Of course?? everything else would be so backwards!

  22. avatar

    and leave behind regions where 50% people are employed in coal production and so on? thanks a lot

  23. avatar

    We should invest in renewables as much as possible as it decentralizes and deconcentrates our energy security which, as a result, makes that security more efficient and harder to destabilize. Green energy is also the safest for every living thing on the planet since in case of any emergency or breakdown there is no critical hazard for the life on Earth. Obviously, there is also no pollution being produced in the process of generating green energy. The problem is, however, of course, the natural potential of a country to produce the required amount of energy: is is enough to sustain the energy network of a country? This is and will be a problem to solve and a major question to answer for the decision-makers. Nevertheless, countries should focus on expanding the percentage of green energy in the total energy balance.

  24. avatar

    Prioritize renewables but make the energetic transition fair and just for communities that still economically rely on the coal industry (like in the Silesia region in Poland for example). We need a fair-reaching strategy not only to recover from the Covid crisis but also to adapt to the climate crisis, let’s not forget about that- it’s the biggest challenge that we’re facing right now.

    • avatar

      I agree 100%. If the people of those coal-heavy regions agree to it, of course, since nuclear is often not popular and they should decide, I would say that they should start building nuclear power plants in those regions, since nuclear power is shown to be a good transitionary energy from coal to cleaner renewables.

  25. avatar

    Renewable Energies are non-sense. Hectares of forests are flattened to raise those awful inefficient wind-mills. Wild life and birds are killed in the process. They are intermittent, require tons of concrete and iron for basement, last for max 15 years, are impossible to recycle because of their structure, and need back up from cool or gaz electricity production facilities. They push electricity prices sky high, putting more and more people in very precarious postions. Ursula Von Der Leyen and her “green new deal” is killing Europe and its citizens. Shame on those over paid disconnected technocrates.

  26. avatar

    Obviously. Less harsh climate change, cheaper, faster, even more beautiful energy. There are certainly a few problems, like birds flying into wind power turbines, and getting better batteries for storing solar power, but if we invest a lot more in renewables it will help with all of this and ensure that humanity sticks around for a while, and the Earth stays green and healthy

  27. avatar

    Yes I think we should use more renewable.

    • avatar

      @Morten by what is more?

  28. avatar

    It should prioritise low any low GHG emitting power source including nuclear power.

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