The committee said that it advocates a balanced approach to future choices and concluded that all potential sources, uses and technologies have to play their role to meet the future energy challenges.

The dependence of the EU vis-a-vis external energy supply is a major concern and is due 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 that are politically unstable.

Renewable energy sources have much potential in the EU and need specifically adapted support. However, 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. Therefore, even under the most optimistic assumption of very dynamic energy savings and use of renewable energy sources, all options have to be kept open, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has concluded.

The EESC stated that concerns regarding nuclear safety, decommissioning and spent fuel have to be addressed in order to continue and even increase the use of this technology, while serious efforts have to be put into clean coal technologies.

In transport, meanwhile, a variety of measures such as alternative fuels, intelligent traffic planning, hybrid vehicles, and alternative modes of transport will help energy policy targets to be better implemented, the EESC said.