Energy saving statistics
Data from 22 January 2021
Planned article update: 28 January 2022
In 2019, primary energy consumption in the EU was 3.0 % above the 2020 energy target and 19.9 % above the 2030 target.
In 2019, final energy consumption in the EU was 2.6 % above the 2020 energy target and 16.3 % above the 2030 target.
Energy efficiency targets for 2020 and 2030
The European Union (EU) has committed itself to a 20 % reduction of energy consumption by the year 2020 compared to baseline projections. This objective is also known as the 20 % energy efficiency target. In other words, the EU has committed itself to have a primary energy consumption of no more than 1 483 Mtoe and a final energy consumption of no more than 1 086 Mtoe in 2020. For 2030 the binding target is at least 32.5 % reduction. This translates into a primary energy consumption of no more than 1 273 Mtoe and a final energy consumption of no more than 956 Mtoe in 2030. With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, the Union's energy consumption figures for 2020 and 2030 needs to be adjusted to the situation of 27 Member States. A technical adaptation of targets results in a primary energy consumption of no more than 1 312 Mtoe in 2020 and 1 128 Mtoe in 2030 and a final energy consumption of no more than 959 Mtoe in 2020 and 846 Mtoe in 2030.
This article provides statistical evaluation of the energy consumption trends in relation to these objectives and describes the statistical method for its measurement.
Primary energy consumption and distance to 2020 and 2030 targets
Over the years, the primary energy consumption has fluctuated as energy needs are influenced by economic developments, the structural changes in industry, the implementation of energy efficiency measures and also the specific weather situation (such as cold vs. warm winters). After having increased by 4.0 % between 2014 and 2017 (three consecutive years of increases), the Primary energy consumption decreased in 2018 and 2019 (in total by 2.4 %). Since its peak in 2006, it decreased by 10.5 %. The gap between the actual level of primary energy consumption and the target level in 2020 was 15.1 % in 2006, 1.5 % in 2014 and in 2019 it was 3.0 %. The distance to the 2030 target was 19.9 % in 2019. Please see data shown in Table 1 and Figure 1.
Final energy consumption and distance to 2020 and 2030 targets
After four consecutive years of increases (from 2014 to 2018), Final energy consumption (shown in Table 2 and in Figure 2) has decreased in 2019. In 2019 it was 4.8 % higher than in 2014. While in 2014 the final energy consumption was 2.1 % below the 2020 target level, in 2019 it was 2.6 % above the 2020 target level. The distance to the 2030 target was 16.3 % in 2019. The final energy consumption peaked in 2006 and its level in 2019 was 5.9 % below this peak.
Country specific evolution
In 2006 the EU's primary and final energy consumption peaked. This section presents the evolution since the peak until the most recent year, when data are available. Between 2006 and 2019, the primary energy consumption increased only in Poland (6.3 %). In all other Member States it decreased, the most decreases were registered in Lithuania (-20.5 %), Greece(-19.9 %), Denmark (-19.3 %) and Italy (-18.5 %).
Final energy consumption increased in seven Member States. The most significant increases were observed in Malta (50.0 %), Poland (15.9 %) and Lithuania (12.7 %), while the highest decreases were observed in Greece (-25.1 %), Italy (-14.9 %) and Spain (-9.9 %).
Diverging trends between primary and final energy consumption are often the result of fundamental changes in the energy system, most notably the switch between electricity generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power (low efficiency) to wind and solar PV (100 % efficiency, according to the methodoloy used). For example, in Lithuania a nuclear power plant was shut down and in 2019 Lithuania imported more electricity or produced it directly from renewables. The consequence is that there are nearly no transformation losses for electricity production in Lithuania. For final energy consumption, the trend reflects the actual consumption of end-users without including losses occured during energy transformation. For example, final consumption in Malta significantly grew due to the increase of energy consumption in road transport, international aviation and in the service sector.
Source data for tables and graphs
Data from energy balances have been used for all calculations. Data are available for all EU Member States and for all time periods from 1990. The most recent data available are for 2018. In general, data are complete, recent and highly comparable across countries. This results in high accuracy and accountability of EU aggregate figures.
The target values for 2020 and 2030 are fixed in Article 3 of Directive 2012/27/EU:
- the Union’s 2020 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 483 Mtoe of primary energy or no more than 1 086 Mtoe of final energy
- the Union's 2030 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 273 Mtoe of primary energy and/or no more than 956 Mtoe of final energy
These values apply to EU-28. With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, the Union's energy consumption figures for 2020 and 2030 needs to be adjusted to the situation of 27 Member States. A technical adaptation, respecting the same calculation principles, results in a primary energy consumption of no more than 1 312 Mtoe in 2020 and 1 128 Mtoe in 2030 and a final energy consumption of no more than 959 Mtoe in 2020 and 846 Mtoe in 2030. More details are available on the website of DG Energy.
The primary energy consumption used for monitoring progress towards 2020 and 2030 targets is taken from energy balances: Primary energy consumption (Europe 2020-2030) [code: PEC2020-2030]. The primary energy consumption has to be measured in Mtoe.
The final energy consumption used for monitoring progress towards 2020 and 2030 targets is taken from energy balances: Final energy consumption (Europe 2020-2030) [code: FEC2020-2030]. The final energy consumption has to be measured in Mtoe.
The distance to target in absolute terms (Mtoe) is calculated as a difference between the observed energy consumption in a given year to the absolute primary and final energy consumption targets in 2020 or 2030 according to Directive 2012/27/EU.
The distance to target in relative terms (as percentage) is calculated as a ratio of the distance in a given year to primary and final energy consumption target in 2020 or 2030 according to Directive 2012/27/EU.
Europe cannot afford to waste energy. Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce emissions, improve energy security, enhance competitiveness and make energy consumption more affordable for all consumers. Energy efficiency is also one of the key factors in achieving our long-term energy and climate goals.
The European Council adopted in 2007 energy and climate change objectives for 2020:
- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 %
- to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 %
- to make a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency.
The European Parliament has continuously supported more ambitious goals.
On 25 October 2012, the EU adopted Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency. This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the 20 % headline target on energy efficiency.
On 11 December 2018, the EU amended Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency and set a 2030 target of 32.5 %, also with a possible upward revision in 2023.
As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission proposed in September 2020 to raise the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target, including emissions and removals, to at least 55% compared to 1990. It looked at the actions required across all sectors, including increased energy efficiency and renewable energy, and started the process of making detailed legislative proposals to implement and achieve the increased ambition. The Commission plans to come forward with the proposals by June 2021.
- Energy (nrg), see:
- Energy statistics - quantities, annual data (nrg_quant)
- Energy indicators (nrg_ind)
- Energy efficiency (nrg_ind_eff)
- Energy indicators (nrg_ind)
- Energy data (2020 edition)
- Shedding light on energy in the EU - A guided tour of energy statistics (2020 edition)
- Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context (2020 edition)
- Energy, transport and environment indicators (2020 edition)
- Smarter, greener, more inclusive? - Indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy (2019 edition)
- Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action
- Summaries of EU legislation: Governance of the Energy Union
- Projections made in years 2007 for energy consumption in year 2020. The target was set as 20 % reduction from the projected value.
- see Article 3 of Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency and also article