We need to invest more and more in renewable energy sources to secure a greener, safer and more affordable future for Europe: EESC president Christa Schweng and Energy commissioner Kadri Simson voiced this conviction as one at the EESC plenary session on 22 March.

Noting that skyrocketing energy prices, inflation and low economic growth had led to a very challenging year for citizens and businesses, Ms Schweng said that "working towards a clean energy transition in Europe, accelerating the roll-out of renewables, affordable energy prices, and securing and diversifying our energy supply remain top priorities for the EESC".

Ms Simson outlined the way forward for EU energy policy: "If I were to answer this in just one word, it would be 'renewables'. Because this is the Commission's top energy policy priority – to push forward and deliver on our renewable energy objectives".

For the first time ever, the EU is no longer dependent on Russian energy. Through gas supply diversification, reduced demand, increased efficiency and a stronger push on renewables, the EU has put an end to its massive dependency on Russia.

39% of the EU's electricity now comes from renewables. 2022 was a record year: the EU generated more electricity from wind and solar than from gas, with wind capacity increasing by 15 GW, and solar energy by 41 GW. (mp)