Electricity and heat statistics

Data from May 2015. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: July 2016.

This article provides an overview of electricity and derived heat production as well as consumption in the European Union (EU) in 2013, based on the annual data provided by each Member State. Detailed data are available on gross electricity and derived heat production by type of generation plant (main activity producers, autoproducers) and by product generated (electricity only plants , combined heat and power (CHP) plants, heat only plants). In addition, simplified electricity and derived heat balances as well as trade data and other indicators are provided in the source file that can be found at the end of this article.

Table 1: Gross electricity generation by fuel, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)
Figure 1: Gross electricity generation by fuel, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)
Table 2: Gross electricity generation by fuel - detailed data, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)
Figure 2: Electricity trade, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)
Figure 3: Electricity net imports by country, GWh, 2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)
Table 3: Maximum electrical capacity, MW, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_113a)
Table 4: Derived heat generation by fuel, TJ, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_106a)
Figure 4: Derived heat generation by fuel, TJ, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_106a)
Table 5: Derived heat generation by fuel - detailed data, GWh, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_106a)
Table 6: Simplified balance for electricity and derived heat, ktoe, EU-28, 2013
Source: Eurostat Energy (nrg)
Figure 5: Final consumption of electricity and derived heat, ktoe, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)
Figure 6: Final consumption of electricity by sector, ktoe, EU-28, 1990-2013
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)
Figure 7: Households consumption of electricity per capita, MWh per capita, 2013
Source: Eurostat Energy (nrg)
Figure 8: Final consumption of electricity per GDP, MWh per 1000 EUR, 2013
Source: Eurostat Energy (nrg)

Main statistical findings

EU-28 total gross electricity generation in 2013 was 3 262 TWh, a 1.1 % decrease compared with the 2012 value. For the first time renewable energies, with a gross production of 890 TWh, have the highest share in electricity production (27.2 %), followed closely by by nuclear power plants and coal fired plants (26.9 % and 26.7 %, respectively).

EU-28 total gross heat production in 2012 was 2.45 million TJ, 1.1 % lower than in 2012. The highest share of heat was produced from natural gas (40.2 %), followed by solid fuels (28.5 %).

EU-28 final energy consumption of electricity increased significantly during the 90’s with a stabilization over the last 10 years, while final energy consumption of derived heat has stayed at the same level over time. Residential and services sectors are responsible for the growth in electricity consumption, while consumption in the transport sector remained stable over the years. Consumption of electricity in the industrial sector follows the economic cycle.

Production of electricity

Total gross electricity production in 2013 in the EU-28 was 3 262 TWh, which is 1.1 % less than in 2012. Following the 4.9 % decrease from 2008 to 2009, there was almost a full recovery in 2012, but the production is going down again in 2013. (Table 1 and Figure 1).

The highest share of electricity in 2013 was produced in power plants using renewable sources of energy (27.3 %), followed by nuclear power plants (26.9 %), coal fired power plants (26.7 %), gas[1] (16.6 %), oil[2] (1.9 %) and non-renewable waste (0.8 %).

The detailed data on gross electricity production by fuel (Table 1 and Table 2) show that in coal fired power plants in 2013 more than half of electricity (58.2 %) was produced from other bituminous coal (steam coal), followed by lignite/brown coal (37.1 %). Both types of coal are traditionally used for electricity generation.

There have been significant changes in the structure of renewable energy sources used for electricity production over the last two decades. In 1990, 94.2 % of renewable electricity was produced from hydro energy, while in 2013 the share of hydro energy was less than half of that. The structure of energy sources used for renewable electricity production in 2013 was 45.4 % hydro energy, 26.5 % wind, 9.2 % solid biofuels, 9.1 % solar PV, 6.0 % biogases, 2.1 % municipal renewable waste, 0.7 % geothermal energy and 1 % other sources.

A time series for gross electricity production by major fuels is presented in Figure 1. Since 1990 electricity generation from renewable energy sources has more than doubled in volume, and is the only source which also continued to grow after 2008. Electricity produced from gas shows the sharpest growth from 1992 until 2008, with an average growth rate of almost 9 % per year. In 2009 electricity generation from gas decreased by 8.2 %, followed by a short recovery in 2010 which changed into a steady decrease in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by 8.0 %, 16.2 % and 12.1 % respectively.

The trend in electricity production in nuclear power plants shows a moderate increase from 1999 until 2004, when a decrease started. From 2004 to 2013 the production of electricity in nuclear power plants fell by 13.0 %. Germany accounted for the sharpest decrease during that period (-41.8 %), as it started to close down several nuclear power plants. At the same time electricity produced from coal, which had been decreasing since 1990, started to increase again from 2009 onwards. It rose by 9.7 % from 2009 to 2012, falling 3.3 % in 2013.

Detailed data for gross electricity production by fuels are presented in Table 1 and Table 2, while a simplified energy balance for electricity and heat for 2013 is presented in Table 6.


According to the purpose of production, power plants can be classified as main activity producers (enterprises, both privately or publicly owned, which generate electricity and/or heat for sale to third parties as their principal activity) and autoproducers (enterprises, both privately or publicly owned, which generate electricity and/or heat wholly or partly for their own use as an activity which supports their primary activity). Both main activity producers and autoproducers can produce only electricity, a combination of heat and electricity (CHP) or heat only.

Detailed data on gross electricity production by fuel and by main activity producers and autoproducers, as well as CHP main activity producers and CHP autoproducers, for the period 1990 to 2013 are presented in Table 2.

In 2013, 92.0 % of electricity was produced by main activity producers, out of which 77.0 % was from electricity only power plants and 15.0 % from CHP plants. The rest of electricity (8,0 %) was produced by autoproducers, of which 5,7 % was from CHP plants and 2,3 % from electricity only plants.

Nearly 58 % of electricity produced by main activity producers was produced from nuclear and solid fuels (29.2 % and 28.9 %, respectively), 27.0 % from renewable energy sources, 13.3 % from gas and 1.5 % from oil and petroleum products.

In 2013 more than half of electricity produced by autoproducers was produced from gas (54.5 %), 29.1 % from renewables, 6.2 % from oil, 5.6 % from solid fuels, 3.3 % from waste and 1.3 % from other sources.

The quantities of fuel used and electricity generated in 2013 are also presented in the simplified electricity and heat balance in Table 6.


Installed electrical capacity

The installed electrical capacity increased by 70 % in the period from 1990 to 2013. The structure of installed capacity changed significantly over this period (Table 3).

In 1990 the highest share of installed capacity was accounted for by combustible fuels (57 %), followed by nuclear (21 %) and hydro (21 %), with all others at less than 1 %.

In 2000 the structure was 58 % combustible fuels, 20 % nuclear, 20 % hydro, 2 % wind, and all others negligible.

When the situation in 2013 is compared to previous decades, the share of installed capacity of combustible fuels decreased to 50 %, the share of hydro to 16 % and the share of nuclear to 13 %. On the other hand, the share of wind increased to 12 % and the share of solar to 9 %, while geothermal and tide, wave and ocean remained negligible.

Import and export of electricity

Electricity trade shows an increasing trend over the last two decades since 1993 with small oscillations in between. Since 1990, the EU-28 has been a net importer of electricity, with two exceptions in 1996 and 2004, when exports exceeded imports of electricity. The quantity of electricity imported into the EU-28 from non-EU countries in 2013 was close to 350 TWh, while 336 TWh were exported, meaning that net imports for 2013 were 13 TWh. Taking into account the EU-28 total gross electricity generation of more than 3 000 TWh, EU-28 net imports are of negligible magnitude (less than 1 %).

The electricity trade data on national level for 2013 show that the biggest net importers of electricity were Italy, the Netherlands and Finland, while France, Germany and the Czech Republic were the biggest net exporters of electricity (Figure 3).

Derived heat production

EU-28 total gross production of derived heat in 2013 was 2.45 million TJ. The highest share of derived heat produced was from natural gas (40.2 %), followed by solid fossil fuels (28.5 %), renewable energy sources (20.5 %), oil and petroleum products (4.4 %), non-renewable waste (3.9 %) and electricity and nuclear together (1.0 %).

During the period from 1990 to 2011 more than 70 % of derived heat was produced from natural gas and solid fuels together. Only the breakdown between the shares changed during this period; the share of natural gas increased from 21.6 % to 42.9 % while the share of coal decreased from 55.9 % to 29.0 % (Figure 4). The share of the two fuels in derived heat generation dropped in 2013 to 68.7 %, following the decreasing trend observed since 2004 (from 77.7 %).

The share of renewable energy sources in derived heat production increased from 2.9 % in 1990 to 20.5 % in 2013. In the structure of renewable energy sources used for derived heat production in 2013, the highest share was for solid biofuels (74.7 %) and renewable municipal waste (18.8 %).

The share of oil and petroleum products in derived heat production decreased from 17.7 % in 1990 to 4.4 % in 2013, while the share of non-renewable waste increased from 1.5 % to 3.9 % during the same period.

More detailed data for derived heat production by fuels are available in Table 5. Detailed data on heat production by fuel and by main activity producers and autoproducers as well as CHP main activity producers and CHP autoproducers for the period 1990 to 2013 are presented in Table 6. The quantities of fuels used and heat produced for 2013 are presented in a simplified electricity and heat balance in Table 6.

Final consumption of electricity and derived heat

Final electricity consumption in the EU-28 increased by 32.5 % during the period 1990 to 2008. In 2009 electricity consumption, influenced by the financial and economic crisis, decreased by 5.2 % but recovered immediately in 2010 almost back to the 2008 level. During the whole period from 1990 to 2013, electricity consumption increased by 28.1 %.

During the same period the consumption of heat in the EU-28 was more stable. It remained at the level of around 50 Mtoe per year with slight oscillations caused by the weather during winter periods. (Figure 5)

The consumption of electricity by selected sectors (Figure 6) shows that electricity consumption in the service sector almost doubled in the period from 1990 to 2010, while electricity consumption in the residential sector increased by 38.8 % during the same period. In 2011, both sectors recorded a small decrease (residential sector -5.0 %, service sector -2.5 %). These decreases were followed by increases of 3.2 % and 1.9 % respectively in 2012. In 2013, there was an overall decrease of 0.9 % of the electricity consumption, which affected all sectors with the exception of the transport sector, where there was an increase of 0.3 %.

Electricity consumption in industry in the period from 1990 to 2013 was influenced by the economic cycle - there was moderate growth from 1994 until 2008, when yearly electricity consumption in industry decreased by 2.1 %, then by 13.6 % in 2009. A recovery started in 2010, with 6.6 % growth followed by 0.7 % growth in 2011, before falling again by 3.0 % in 2012 and another fall in 2013 (0.7 %).

In 2013, electricity consumption in the industry sector was nearly 86 Mtoe, in the service and residential sectors 71 Mtoe each and in the transport sector 5.5 Mtoe.

The detailed data on electricity generation and consumption for 2013 are also presented in a simplified electricity and heat balance in Table 6.

Simplified electricity and derived heat balance

Table 6 shows the simplified electricity and heat balance for the EU-28 for 2013, in which energy flows are summarized and presented in a common unit (ktoe). The simplified balance presents in the first part fuel inputs to electricity and heat generation, in the second part the electricity and heat generated and in the third part the final use of electricity, with greater detail especially for consumption by industry branches.

In 2013, the highest amounts of electricity available for final consumption in industry were used in the Chemical and petrochemical industry (18.0 %), Paper, pulp and print industry (12.2 %), Machinery (11.9 %), Iron & steel industry (11.5 %) and in Food and tobacco (11.2 %). The highest amounts of heat available for final consumption in industry were used in the Chemical and petrochemical industry (47.5 %) and in the Paper, pulp and print industry (15.3 %).

The final consumption of electricity by sectors in 2013 was 36.1 % industry, 2.2 % transport, 30.1 % services, 29.7 % residential, 1.8 % agriculture/forestry, fishing and non-specified. The final consumption of heat by sectors was 31.0 % industry, 20.8 % services, 46.7 % residential, 1.5 % agriculture/forestry and non-specified.

Consumption of electricity per capita in the residential sector

Electricity consumption per capita in the residential sector in the EU-28 in 2013 was 1.6 MWh per capita. The range of electricity consumption per capita in the residential sector in the EU Member States in 2013 varied widely, from consumption below 1 MWh per capita in Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovakia, to consumption of over 3 MWh per capita in Finland and Sweden (Figure 7).

Electricity consumption per capita in the residential sector in EU-28 increased by 27.3 % in the period from 1990 to 2013. The growth was much higher in some Member States, for example Romania (157.6 %), Estonia (151.8 %), and Cyprus (111.7 %) where consumption more than doubled. Electricity consumption per capita in the residential sector decreased in the same period in Sweden (10.5 %), Germany (4.3 %), Belgium (4.1 %) and Denmark (2.3 %).

Consumption of electricity per unit of GDP

Electricity consumption per unit of GDP in the EU-28 in 2013 was 236 MWh per 1000 EUR (Figure 8). It decreased by 8.5 % over the period from 1995 to 2013. The amount of electricity consumed per unit of GDP depends on many factors, starting from the general standard of living, the economy and weather conditions as well as energy efficiency of buildings and appliances.

The Member States with the lowest electricity consumption per unit of GDP in 2013 were Ireland (145 MWh per 1000 EUR), Denmark (151 MWh per 1000 EUR) and the United Kingdom (162 MWh per 1000 EUR). The highest electricity consumption per unit of GDP were registered in Bulgaria (1 003 MWh per 1000 EUR), Estonia (522 MWh per 1000 EUR) and Slovakia (490 MWh per 1000 EUR).

Data sources and availability

Data on energy are submitted on the basis of an internationally agreed methodology in joint annual energy questionnaires (Eurostat - OECD/IEA - UNECE). Data are available for all EU-28 Member States and the methodology is harmonised for all reporting countries. Consequently, data comparability across countries is very high.

Methodological note

Derived heat includes heat produced in main activity producer plants and heat sold produced in autoproducer plants. Heat produced at the final place of consumption in the final consumption sectors (such as households) is not counted as the final energy consumption of "derived heat"; it is counted as the final energy consumption of the respective fuel (electricity, natural gas, etc.).

Gross electricity production is the total amount of electricity produced in power plants. Power plants consume some electricity for their own use; by deducting the own use of power plants from gross electricity production net electricity production is obtained. Net electricity production is transmitted and distributed via grids to final consumers.

Context

Energy statistics are in the spotlight due to the strategic importance of energy on the agenda of competitive and sustainable economic growth. In recent years, the European Union has faced several significant issues that have pushed energy towards the top of national and European political agendas. In this respect, energy statistics have provided crucial information for policy makers.

Modern societies are dependent on electricity. Maintaining reliable and secure electricity services underpins economic growth and community prosperity. Derived heat plays a significant role in the supply of district heating in several countries in Europe. It is particularly widespread in North, Central and Eastern Europe.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Main tables

Energy statistics - main indicators (t_nrg_indic)
Energy statistics - quantities (t_nrg_quant)

Database

Energy statistics - main indicators (nrg_indic)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables, figures and maps (MS Excel)

Other information

External links

Notes

  1. Gas includes natural gas and derived gases; and excludes biogas included in renewable energy sources.
  2. Oil includes crude oil and petroleum products.