Electricity improves the overall quality of life and is essential to industrial activity and economic development. However, electricity generation, distribution and supply have a number of impacts on the environment, such as emissions in the air or water, the generation of waste and residues, as well as land use.
The power sector is continuously seeking to reduce these adverse effects. Electricity companies play an active role in the reduction of pollutant emissions to air, the sustainable management of water resources or of the by-products and residues of electricity generation. They also strive to reduce the impacts of their activities on the landscape as well as on biodiversity.
These efforts are paying off. For instance, between 2005 and 2013 electricity generation in the EU-28 remained stable, but our sector's emissions of sulphur oxides (SO₂) and nitrous oxides (NOx) fell by around 70% and 40% respectively. The continued implementation of EU environmental legislation and progress towards a low-carbon society should lead to additional reductions.