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Energy balances - early estimates


Data extracted in June 2020.

Planned update: June 2021.

Preliminary 2019 data indicates around 20% decrease in coal consumption in the EU.

In 2019, electricity in the EU was produced mostly from fossil fuels (1 143 TWh), followed by renewables (1 001 TWh) and nuclear (766 TWh).

Highlights


Index of inland consumption for fossil fuels in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_sff), (nrg_cb_oil) and (nrg_cb_gas)

This article presents the 2019 preliminary data, estimating the evolution of the energy supply across the EU in 2019 as compared with 2018. Reporting countries transmit on voluntary basis their preliminary annual energy data within 5 months after the end of the reference year to Eurostat. This improved timeliness is the result of Eurostat's response to policy needs and reporting countries significantly contributed in achieving these results. Final annual energy data is published by Eurostat 13 months after the end of the reference period (2018 data were available at the end of January 2020 and final 2019 data will be available by the end of January 2021). The sections below present the highlights for the EU-27 aggregate. MS Excel files at the end of this article include all detailed national data for the supply side of energy commodities.

Figure 1 shows the trend in fossil fuels. Preliminary data suggest significant decreases for coal in 2019.


Full article


Solid fossil fuels (coal) and manufactured gases

Preliminary 2019 data indicates a significant decrease in the supply of coal, compared with the previous year. In general, the solid fossil fuels in 2019 are expected to be in a record low level since data are available (since 1990). Inland consumption of lignite decreased by 63.6 million tonnes (Mt) (-17.2 %), other bituminous coal decreased by 37.5 Mt (-23.1 %), oil shale and oil sands decreased by 6.4 Mt (-29.9 %) and coking coal decreased by 5.7 Mt (-10.5 %).These solid fossil fuels drive the overall trend in the decreasing supply and thus also the consumption. Other solid fossil fuels decreased too: anthracite (-35.7 % or -1.8 Mt), coke oven coke (-8.5 % or -3.0 Mt) and peat (-12.4 % or -1.3 Mt) as well as brown coal briquettes (-11 %) and patent fuels (-42.7 %). Manufactured gases, mostly produced in relation to coal consumption in iron and steel industry, decreased significantly too. These data are presented in Table 1. The MS Excel file available at the end of the article provide details on indigenous production, imports, exports and stock changes for each type of coal as well as country specific data.

Table 1: Supply of solid fossil fuels and manufactured gases in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_sff), and (nrg_cb_gas)

Natural gas

Preliminary 2019 data indicates a continuation of the decrease in the domestic production of natural gas (-10.5 % compared with 2018). In relation to the decreasing production, the imports of natural gas have increased by 11.4 % and exports decreased by 0.7 % during 2019. Overall, the preliminary estimation of inland consumption shows a growth by 4.7 % compared to 2018 data (see Table 2). The MS Excel file available at the end of the article provides details for each country. These preliminary data indicates that Spain is the Member State with the highest increase in inland consumption of natural gas (+14.1 % compared with 2018), followed by Germany and Greece (9.1 % and 9.0 % respectively compared with 2018). The highest decrease in inland consumption of natural gas was reported by Estonia (-8.0 % compared with 2018), followed by Bulgaria and Latvia (-6.5 % and -5.6 % respectively).

Table 2: Natural gas supply in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gas)

Oil

Preliminary 2019 data indicates that the demand of refineries for primary oil (such as crude oil) decreased slightly: -2.2 % for calculated refinery intake and -1.9 % for observed refinery intake (see Table 3). A similar trend (-2.0 %) was also observed for the supply of refined petroleum products from refineries (see Table 4). Gas/diesel oil followed by motor gasoline were the most significant oil products refined in the EU, accounting for nearly 60 % of the total refinery output in 2019. The gross inland deliveries of all petroleum products to the EU market increased very slightly in 2019 (+0.1 %). More details and country specific preliminary data are available in the MS Excel file for oil. For example, the preliminary data suggests that gross inland deliveries of transport fuels (motor gasoline, gas/diesel oil, LPG and kerosene type jet fuel) in 2019 slightly increase compared with 2018. On the othe rhand, naphtha and fuel oil are slightly decreasing.

Table 3: Oil and petroleum products supply in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_oil)


Table 4: Refinery gross output in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_oil)

Electricity & heat

The total electricity supply in the EU-27 in 2019 slightly decreased (-1.2 %) compared with 2018. Preliminary data indicates significant annual variations between various fuel sources. The energy produced from renewable energy sources further increased for wind production (+14.3 % or +45.7 TWh), solar (+8.4 % or +9.7 TWh) while solid biofuels are expected to remain the same and hydro production is expected to decrease (-6.7 % or -24.8 TWh) The production of electricity from natural gas has increased (+17.5 %or 85.8 TWh). In an opposite trend, electricity generation from solid fossil fuels has substantially decreased: other bituminous coal (-31.2 % or -89.3 TWh) and lignite (-17.9 % or -52.1 TWh). Electricity generated from lignite decreased by 17.9 % (from 292 TWh in 2018 to 239 TWh in 2019) and consequently the share of electricity generated from lignite in total electricity generation decreased too (from 9.9 % in 2018 to 8.2 % in 2019). In comparison with 2018, the output of nuclear power plants is slightly higher in 2019 (+0.5 % or 4.2 TWh). The biggest contributors to the EU-27 electricity generation system in 2019 are nuclear (766 TWh), natural gas (577 TWh), wind (366TWh), hydro (345.5 TWh), lignite (239 TWh) and other bituminous coal (197 TWh). Renewables in total (1 001 TWh) are the biggest contributor as an individual fuel group, however renewables in total are less than fossil fuels in total (1 143 TWh).

Table 5: Electricity supply in the EU-27 - Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_e), (nrg_ind_pehcf) and (nrg_ind_pehnf)

Total derived heat supply in the EU-27 in 2019 is estimated to have increased very slightly (by +0.3 % compared with 2018). Preliminary data indicates a decrease of heat production by -9.1 % or -62 PJ from solid fossil fuels other than natural gas (coals and manufactured gases, oil products, peat and oil shale and oil sands), +3.8 % or +17.4 PJ from solid biofuels and +9.3 % or +22.9 PJ from wastes (industrial waste and renewable/non-renewable municipal waste). At the same time, marginally decreased heat production is expected from natural gas (-0.9 % or -7.5 PJ). Other sources contribute significantly less to the total heat production and preliminary data indicates mixed trends. More details and country specific preliminary data are available in the MS Excel files at the end of the article.

Table 6: Derived heat supply in the EU-27 -Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_h), (nrg_ind_pehcf) and (nrg_ind_pehnf)

Renewables and waste

Preliminary 2019 data indicates that the use of renewable energies increased in 2019. As seen in Table 5, electricity generated from several renewable sources recorded relatively high increases (wind +14.3 %, solar +8.4 %, biogas +2.1 %, geothermal +0.4 %). However, some renewables also saw decreases for electricity production, in particular electricity from hydro (-6.7 %). Supply of combustible renewables has also increased (see Table 7). These increases concern mainly liquid biofuels (biogasoline +5.1 %, biodiesel +2.0 %), biogases (+1.7 %) and solid biofuels (+1.1 %). The use of wastes for energy purposes indicates increases: industrial waste increased by 3.3 %, municipal wastes (renewable and non-renewable) increased by 2.0 % and 2.7 % respectively. Preliminary data also indicate an increase in the use of solar thermal energy (+7.8 %) and marginally geothermal energy (+0.3 %) in 2019. More details and country specific preliminary data are available in the MS Excel file for renewables and waste.

Table 7: Supply of renewables and wastes in the EU-27 Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_rw)

Data sources

Methodology

Timeliness and accuracy of the input data Currently, the official energy annual data (the European statistics on energy) is published in a harmonised form of commodity/energy balance by Eurostat 13 months after the end of the reference period (2015 data were available at the end of January 2017, 2016 data were available at the end of January 2018, etc.). Consequently in the documents of the Energy Union Report from November 2015, the latest data available cover the reference year 2013, i.e. almost 2 years after the end of the reference period or "year-2". This is not optimal for a proper monitoring process and it is therefore essential to find ways to reduce this 'gap'. This could be achieved in several different ways:

  • by finding solutions for improving the timeliness and accuracy of the existing statistical annual data collections
  • by developing suitable new statistical data collections
  • by estimation/modelling techniques.

Timeliness, quality control and continuity of the monitoring process The process of aggregating input data in order to produce relevant indicators is complex. It requires the collection of data, their validation and aggregation into indicators, all of this in a timely and accurate manner. The compilation and analysis in this process is time-consuming and efforts are needed to further automatize the process in order to efficiently provide high quality results. There is a strong need to have a database for ensuring the continuity of the monitoring process over time. Therefore some developments are necessary in order to reduce the administrative burden of the process, to avoid potential human errors when processing data into indicators and to increase flexibility to cope with potential changes in the monitoring process or indicators.

Transparency of the monitoring process The monitoring process should be done in a transparent manner. In other words, the indicators should be publicly available in an understandable visual presentation (including graphs and data tables) together with the calculation/estimation methodology.

The development of solutions The European Commission (DG Energy and Eurostat) is developing short term and long term solutions. During 2016, DG Energy undertook an exploratory study to try to identify ways of having early estimates or earlier preliminary data on 2015 energy consumption. The future activities of DG Energy are planned to be complementary to Eurostat deliveries – whenever available, official statistics will be used as the primary source of information.

Eurostat response to policy needs In March 2016 Eurostat initiated intensive cooperation with reporting countries in the Energy Statistics Working Group (ESWG) and launched the Energy Statistics Task Force on Early Estimates of Energy Balances. The cooperation with countries resulted in dissemination of preliminary data[1] of the 2017 supply side of the energy balance in July 2018, thus 7 months after the end of the reference period. For years 2018 and 2019, the preliminary supply side data were published in June 2019 and June 2020, thus 6 months after the end of reference period. The published data are to be considered as preliminary that will be revised upon delivery of data as defined in Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics. Further developments in the upcoming years are planned on delivering estimates of the key aggregates of the consumption side of energy balance. Eurostat together with reporting countries will develop a methodology to produce early estimates of energy balances and will further analyse their accuracy. When the high quality of the results is confirmed, Eurostat will proceed with the dissemination of early estimates of energy balances too.

The methodology Data collections (including eventual estimation) is done at national level by respective National Statistical Institutes or Other National Authorities transmitting data to Eurostat. Eurostat does not publish any estimates for values not transmitted by individual reporting countries. However, for the purpose of presenting the EU aggregate, some missing values need to be estimated for a very limited number of reporting countries. These Eurostat estimates are not present on data sheets with national data and were used only for the improvement of the accuracy of the EU aggregate.

The results The MS Excel files below include all national results - data from the MS Excel questionnaires were extracted and grouped by country. These data should be considered as preliminary for the reference year 2019; these are not final data for policy evaluation or official monitoring of developments towards legally binding targets.

The limitations The exercise on developing early estimates of energy balances is currently under development by Eurostat and the Energy Statistics Task Force on the Early Estimates of Energy Balances. It is yet to be seen if the preliminary data provided by reporting countries can be used only to create an accurate estimate of the supply side of energy balance or also the estimate of consumption side of energy balance. Eurostat, in pursuing the approach of full transparency, publishes the collected data (the input into the project in the form of the so called "mini-questionnaires"). Thus the limitations as for any statistics under development should apply also for these data.

Context

The European Green Deal and the Energy Union

Energy Union

The need for energy balances earlier. The European Green Deal, adopted by the Commission on 11 December 2019, is the ambitious EU climate policy that aims for Europe to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050. This requires a fundamental transformation of our energy system, which can only be achieved through a combination of coordinated action – legislative and non-legislative – at EU and national level. The Energy Union is the main energy policy instrument to deliver the transformations required to decarbonise our energy system. The Energy Union strategy has mutually-reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness. The aim of the Energy Union is to provide a new integrated, cooperative and more effective framework for common EU energy and climate policies providing to the European consumers – households and businesses – secure, affordable, competitive and sustainable energy. The first State of the Energy Union report stated the following: "In order to track progress, a transparent monitoring system has to be put in place based on key indicators as well as on Member States' biannual reports concerning progress made on their national plans. The Commission intends to assess collective progress made at the EU level in its annual State of the Energy Union and, if necessary, propose policy actions and measures to ensure the delivery of the Energy Union objectives". Using reliable high quality data to monitor the progress made to achieve the Energy Union and European Green Deal targets will enhance the credibility of EU energy policy and official statistics need to contribute to this process to stay relevant and aligned to the needs of our policy-makers and society. The energy data presented in this article are supporting this monitoring.

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Energy statistics - quantities (nrg_quant)
Energy statistics - quantities, annual data (nrg_quanta)
Supply, transformation and consumption - commodity balances (nrg_cb)
Supply, transformation and consumption of solid fossil fuels (nrg_cb_sff)
Supply, transformation and consumption of gas (nrg_cb_gas)
Supply, transformation and consumption of oil and petroleum products (nrg_cb_oil)
Supply, transformation and consumption of renewables and wastes (nrg_cb_rw)
Supply, transformation and consumption of electricity (nrg_cb_e)
Supply, transformation and consumption of derived heat (nrg_cb_h)
Energy indicators (nrg_ind)
Gross production of electricity and derived heat from combustible fuels by type of plant and operator (nrg_ind_pehcf)
Gross production of electricity and derived heat from non-combustible fuels by type of plant and operator (nrg_ind_pehnf)

Notes

  1. While most countries provide preliminary data, some countries are able to provide final data and other countries can provide estimates.