Climate protection and a secure energy supply both are questions of our future. The European Union must set itself ambitious goals if it wants to maintain its political dynamic. An 80% reduction of European carbon dioxide emissions by the middle of this century should therefore be a core project of the EU. Through this the EU would make a major contribution to the protection of the global climate. This would call for nothing less than a new industrial revolution with a huge increase in the efficiency of the use of resources and the coverage of the bulk of energy demands with renewable energy as its central theme. There is a large wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric potential in Europe, although it is unevenly distributed across the EU. In order to exploit this potential, to speed up the development of renewable energy and to encourage co-operation within the EU, new instruments are needed. ERENE (European Community for Renewable Energy) aims to become such an instrument. ERENE could be a great new project for Europe, accentuating the vital importance of common action for Europe’s future. This study by Michaele Schreyer and Lutz Mez sets out the circumstances and options for the implementation of such a community. It describes the diversity of the EU’s potential for electricity generation from renewable energy sources and identifies the conditions necessary to make better use of these potentials.