EU's energy policies aim to ensure that European citizens can access secure, affordable and sustainable energy supplies. The EU is working in a number of areas to make this happen:
- the energy union strategy is focused on boosting energy security, creating a fully integrated internal energy market, improving energy efficiency, decarbonising the economy (not least by using more renewable energy), and supporting research, innovation and competitiveness
- the energy security strategy presents short and long-term measures to shore up the EU's security of energy supply
- EU funding and other support is helping to build a modern, interconnected energy grid across Europe
- the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, placed emphasis on three key objectives: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies, and providing a fair deal for consumers
- Safety across the EU's energy sectors, with strict rules on issues such as the disposal of nuclear waste and the operation of offshore oil and gas platforms.
As part of its long-term energy strategy, the EU has set targets for 2020 and 2030. These cover emissions reduction, improved energy efficiency, and an increased share of renewables in the EU’s energy mix. The 2030 targets for renewables and energy efficiency have subsequently been increased in the context of the ’Clean Energy for all Europeans’ package. For the longer term, the Commission published in November 2018 its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Together, these goals provide the EU with a stable policy framework on greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency, which gives investors more certainty and confirms the EU's lead in these fields on a global scale.
The EU has already made important progress towards meeting its targets:
- The 'State of the Energy Union' reports show the progress that has been made since the adoption of the energy union strategy in February 2015
- Between 1990 and 2015, the EU cut greenhouse gas emissions by 22%, and it is well on track to meet its 2020 target
- In 2015, the estimated share of renewable energy in the EU's gross final energy consumption was 16.4%, up from 8.5% in 2005
- The latest renewable energy progress report from 2017 states that the EU as a whole achieved a 16% share of renewable energy in 2014. In 2016, the estimated share of renewable energy in the EU's gross final energy consumption was 17% (the progress of each country will be fully assessed in the coming months)
- in 2016 the EU's primary energy consumption was only 4% above its 2020 primary energy consumption target. If countries implement all the necessary EU legislation, it should still be possible to reach the 2020 target.
The EU produces market projection reports for 2030 and 2050 based on current trends and policies. They include information on possible energy demand, energy prices, greenhouse gas emissions and other potential developments.