By 2010 the European Union wants 12 percent of our energy to come from renewable sources. A new four-year programme bids to raise awareness of the need to convert to solar and wind power, hydroelectricity, and biofuels. A second objective is to get people to save more energy by, for example, improving their homes’ insulation, and buying more energy-efficient domestic appliances. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs stresses people can help save the planet, and their pockets, too, if they learn how to consume cleverly. “If you use energy efficient appliance, if you care about your house cooling or heating system, if you care about your transport you use, you save a lot of money for yourself and for your family, and at the same time you also address issues of climate change”, he said at the campaign launch in Brussels. The commission also wants to boost energy sources like bioethanol or biodiesel, obtained from refining vegetable matter, and will carry out inspections of millions of heating systems in big and small buildings. The campaign is in part driven by the need to respect the Kyoto environmental deal, and also to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which are ever more costly and beginning to run out. High pump prices for petrol also may encourage biofuel producers to expand production.
EU launches green energy drive