Energy statistics - an overview
Data extracted in May 2021
Planned article update: July 2022
Gross available energy, EU, 1990-2019
This article provides an overview of the energy economy in the European Union (EU) in 2019, based on annual data from each Member State. It provides trends for the main energy commodities for primary energy production, imports and exports, gross available energy and final energy consumption.
Gross available energy in the European Union in 2019 slightly decreased compared to 2018 (-1.7 %). Oil (crude oil and petroleum products) continued to be the most significant energy source for the European economy, despite a long-term downward trend, while natural gas remained the second largest energy source. Oil use was again on the decline, after a slight increase in the period between 2014 and 2017, whereas a certain fluctuation is observed in natural gas, with levels back on the rise in 2019. The contribution of renewable energy sources shows a stable growth, having already surpassed solid fossil fuels in 2018 and gaining further ground in 2019. Solid fossil fuels decreased by 19.7 % in 2019 and reached the record lowest value since 1990.
Primary energy production
Primary production of energy within the EU in 2019 amounted to 616 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), 3 % lower than in 2018. Solid fossil fuels continued their downward trend (13.8 % decrease), as well as natural gas (11.7 % decrease) and oil and petroleum products (7.7 % decrease). An increase, on the other hand, was registered for renewable energies (+3.4 %), non-renewable waste (+2.1 %), and nuclear heat (+0.6 %) (Figure 1). Renewable energies accounted for the highest share in primary energy production in the EU in 2019 (36.5 %), followed by nuclear heat (32.0 %), solid fossil fuels (16.2 %), natural gas (8.5 %), oil and petroleum products (3.7 %), and non-renewable waste (2.2 %).
Over the past decade (2009-2019), the trend in primary energy production was generally negative for solid fossil fuels, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. The production of natural gas saw the sharpest decline (-49.4 %), followed by oil and petroleum products and solid fossil fuels (with a drop of 34.6 % and 33.2 %, respectively). The production of renewable energies followed a clear positive trend over the same period (except in 2011), with a 48.3 % increase, similarly to waste (non-renewable), which saw a 36 % increase.
Imports and exports
The decrease in primary energy production in the EU over the past decades resulted in increased imports of primary energy and energy products. The quantity of imported natural gas more than doubled over the period 1990-2019, reaching 360 Mtoe (Figure 2). This makes natural gas the second largest imported energy product, with record import levels in 2019, 19.3 % higher than in 2009. Crude oil again ranked first in terms of quantities imported, with 513 Mtoe in 2019, only 1.2 % less than 10 years ago.
Export levels were much lower than import levels (Figure 3). In 2019, gas oil and diesel oil (around 94 Mtoe) ranked highest, followed by motor gasoline (77 Mtoe) and natural gas (59 Mtoe).
It should be noted that data for imports and exports include intra-EU trade.
Gross inland energy consumption
Gross inland energy consumption in the EU in 2019 reached 1 454 Mtoe, which is 1.7 % lower than in 2018 (Figure 4). It was relatively stable over the period 1990-2019, with a strong decrease in 2009, mostly as a result of the financial and economic crisis.
In 2009, gross inland energy consumption decreased by 5.9 % compared to 2008, with the sharpest drop in solid fossil fuels (-11.4 %), followed by natural gas (-6.0 %), and oil and petroleum products (-5.9 %) (Figure 5).There was a recovery in 2010, with a 4.0 % rise in gross inland consumption, followed by consecutive decreases until 2015, when the trend reversed again. However, 2018 and 2019 once again saw a drop in gross inland consumption, with 2019 levels almost identical to those of 1990 (1 454 Mtoe in 2019 compared to 1 455 Mtoe in 1990, or a decrease of 0.1 %).
During the whole period from 1990 until 2019, for which historic time series allow for comparison, the lowest levels of gross inland energy consumption in the EU were observed in 1994. However, in the context of current climate-related efforts, it should be noted that the 2019 levels are, among other things, a result of a 222 % increase in renewables and a 56 % decrease in solid fuels compared to 1990.
As for the structure of gross inland energy consumption in 2019, oil and petroleum products held the biggest share (34.5 %), followed by natural gas (23.1 %), whereas solid fossil fuels represented 11.6 %. In other words, 69.3 % of all energy in the EU was produced from coal, crude oil and natural gas. Nuclear heat and renewable energies accounted for 13.5 % and 15.8 % of the total, respectively (Figure 6).
The mix of fuels and their share in gross inland energy consumption in different countries depends on the natural resources available, the structure of a country’s economy, as well as on the national choices in energy systems. Only in four EU countries was the cumulated share of solid fossil fuels, crude oil and petroleum products and natural gas (i.e. main fossil fuels) in gross inland energy consumption below 50 %: Estonia 9.1 %, Sweden 28.7 %, Finland 39.4 % and France 48.2 % (Figure 6). It should be noted that France and Sweden were also the countries with the highest contribution of nuclear heat to the gross inland energy consumption (42.3 % and 32.8 %, respectively).
In 2019, the share of solid fossil fuels in gross inland consumption was highest in Poland (46.1 %) and Czechia (36.2 %). The EU average stood at a much lower figure of 11.6 %. The smallest shares of solid fossil fuels in gross inland energy consumption (under 2 %) in 2019 were observed in Luxembourg, Latvia, Cyprus, Estonia, and Malta (Figure 6).
In 2019, oil shale and oil sands accounted for 73.5 % of the gross inland consumption in Estonia, whereas the share of peat and peat products in Finland and Ireland was 4.2 % and 4.1 %, respectively.
The largest shares of oil and petroleum products in gross inland energy consumption were observed in Cyprus (89.6 %), Luxembourg (64.7 %), and Malta (53.7 %). This is due to their specific national circumstances: Malta and Cyprus are small islands, while the consumption in Luxembourg is heavily affected by “fuel tourism”, owing to relatively low prices of fuels used in the transport sector.
The share of natural gas ranged from 39.7 % in the Netherlands to under 2 % in Sweden and Cyprus. Natural gas was also a significant energy source in Italy, Malta, Hungary, and Ireland, with a share of 30 % or more.
In two countries, Sweden and Latvia, renewable energies accounted for just short of 40 % of their gross inland energy consumption in 2019 (39.6 % and 38.9 %, respectively), with Finland closely following at 34.6 %. The lowest results in this respect were registered in Malta (5.4 %), the Netherlands (6.0 %), and Luxembourg (6.5 %).
In 2019, there were 13 Member States with nuclear power plants. France had the highest nuclear share (a 42.3 % share of nuclear heat in gross inland energy consumption), followed by Sweden (32.8 %), Slovakia (22.1 %), Bulgaria (21.9 %), and Slovenia (19.9 %).
In Luxembourg and Finland the gross inland consumption in 2019 reached over 6 toe per capita, while in Romania and Malta it was under 2 toe per capita (Map 1, Figure 7). This indicator is influenced the by structure of the industry in each country, the severity of winter weather, as well as other factors, such as fuel tourism in the case of Luxembourg. The EU average in 2019 stood at 3.3 toe per capita.
Between 1990 and 2019, the EU average decreased by 6.5 %. However, at national level, the evolution varies. The biggest increase in gross inland consumption per capita between 1990 and 2019 was observed in Portugal (+34.9 %), followed by Spain (+18.8 %), and Austria (+18.2 %). The sharpest decrease was registered in Estonia (-40.5 %), Romania (-37.4 %), and Lithuania (-36.7 %).
Figure 8 shows the structural split of gross inland energy consumption in the EU by the main categories of the energy balance. In 2019, the biggest share of energy in the EU was used in energy transformation (24.8 %), followed by the transport sector (19.9 %), households (16.9 %), the industry sector (16.4 %), services (8.8 %), other sectors (6.8 %) and non-energy use (6.2 %).
Final energy consumption
Final energy consumption in the EU in 2019 amounted to 935 Mtoe, 0.5 % less than in 2018 (Figure 9). Final energy consumption was slowly increasing from 1994 until it reached its highest value of 990 Mtoe in 2006. By 2019 final energy consumption decreased from its peak level by 5.5 %.
Between 1990 and 2019 the amount and share of solid fossil fuels dropped significantly (from 9.6 % in 1990 to 3.6 % in 2000, 2.8 % in 2010, and 2.1 % in 2019). On the other hand, renewable energy sources increased their share in the total, moving from 4.3 % in 1990 to 5.3 % in 2000 and 8.8 % in 2010, finally reaching 10.9 % in 2019. Natural gas remained quite stable over this period, ranging from 18.8 % (in 1990) to 22.6 % (in 2005), its share in the total equalling 21.3 % in 2019.
Oil and petroleum products accounted for the biggest share (37.0 %) in the structure of final energy consumption in 2019, followed by electricity (22.8 %), and natural gas (21.3 %). Solid fossil fuels contributed only 2.1 % to the final energy consumption at the end-use level. An analysis of the final end use of energy in the EU in 2019 reveals three dominant categories: transport (30.9 %), households (26.3 %), and industry (25.6 %) (Figure 10).
The total energy consumption of all transport modes in the EU amounted to 289 Mtoe in 2019. There was a marked change in the development of energy consumption for transport after 2007. Until that year, the consumption was characterised by a steady growth, rising each year from the start of the time series in 1990. However, with the onset of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008, the consumption of energy for transport purposes fell by 1.4 %. The decline intensified in 2009 (-2.5 %), continued at a more subdued pace in 2010 (-0.2 %) and 2011 (-0.3 %), to eventually become more prominent again in 2012 (-3.5 %) and 2013 (-1.3 %). By 2014, this trend had reversed, and the increase in the consumption of energy in the transport sector continued all the way to 2019 (+2.0 % in 2017, +0.6 % in 2018, +1.0 % in 2019), although the 2007 levels were not reached. Overall, between the relative peak of 2007 and the low of 2013, final energy consumption for transport in the EU fell by 7.7 %.
A similar analysis for all end uses (based again on the period from 2007 onwards) reveals that EU final energy consumption for industry fell overall by 13.0 % during the period between 2007 and 2019. The overall reduction in energy consumption for transport was much less pronounced and stood at 0.83 %, while the rate of change for households’ energy use was -1.43 %. By contrast, final energy consumption by services increased during the period under consideration, rising overall by 2.18 %.
There were considerable differences in the development of energy consumption across various transport modes, with a rapid growth for international aviation (90.9 % between 1990 and 2008) (Figure 12). However, 2009 was marked by a considerable reduction in energy consumption for this particular transport mode (-8.4 % compared to 2008), followed by a short period without a clear pattern in terms of energy consumption developments in international aviation. In the period between 2013 and 2019 there was a steady growth in consumption, causing the 2019 level to be 19.8 % higher than the previous relative peak in 2008.
As shown in Figure 12, comparing the principal modes of transport in the period between 1990 and 2019, the biggest growth in EU energy consumption was in international aviation — rising 128.7 % overall. Road transport — by far the leading transport mode — and domestic aviation were the only other transport modes to report increases in energy consumption over this period (34.1 % and 32.6 %, respectively). By contrast, energy consumption for rail transport in 2019 was 29.3 % lower than in 1990, and 19.4 % lower for transport via inland waterways.
In absolute terms, over the period between 1990 and 2019 energy consumption for transport via inland waterways dropped by 1 Mtoe, whereas rail transport consumed 2.2 Mtoe less in 2019 than in 1990. Domestic aviation saw a small increase in energy consumed compared to 1990 (+1.6 Mtoe), while the consumption of energy for international aviation rose by 23.4 Mtoe. Energy consumption in road transport saw by far the biggest absolute increase — 68.7 Mtoe, almost triple that of international aviation. These changes reflect the use of each transport mode, but can also be influenced by technological developments, especially when these relate to fuel-efficiency gains or losses.
Final non-energy consumption includes fuels that are used as raw materials and are not consumed as fuel or transformed into another fuel (for example, natural gas used in fertilizers, or bitumen used in road construction). Non-energy consumption in 2019 amounted to 90.5 Mtoe (Figure 13). Oil and petroleum products accounted for 81.3 %, natural gas 16.9 %, and solid fossil fuels 1.7 % of all non-energy consumption.
Gross available energy represents the quantity of energy necessary to satisfy the energy needs of a country or a region. The ratio between net imports and gross available energy indicates the ability of a country or a region to meet all its energy needs. This ratio is called energy dependency. In other words, it shows the extent to which a country or a region is dependent on energy imports. This is illustrated in Figure 14, where the light-coloured proportion of the column shows net imports with respect to gross available energy.
In 2019 the EU's energy demand was highest for oil and petroleum products and equalled 545.6 Mtoe, of which 96.8 % was imported. For natural gas the demand in 2019 stood at 335.9 Mtoe, with 89.7 % of it covered by imports. The production of solid fossil fuels in the EU has been in decline over the last two decades (Figure 1), as was their gross inland consumption. At EU level in 2019, 44.0 % of solid fossil fuels consumed were imported. Overall, the long-term trend since 1990 points to an increasing import dependency. Whereas in 1990 50.1 % of all fuels consumed were imported, the figure stood at 60.7 % in 2019.
Energy intensity can be considered as an approximation of the energy efficiency of a country’s economy, and shows the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP. There are various reasons for observed improvements in energy intensity: a general shift from industry towards a service-based economy in Europe, a shift within industry to less energy-intensive activities and production methods, the closure of inefficient units, and more energy-efficient appliances. Map 2 illustrates energy intensity using GDP purchasing power standards (PPS), which are more suited for comparison across countries in a specific year.
Figure 15 shows energy intensity using chain-linked GDP values, which are better suited for comparison of historic trends in each country. Compared to a decade ago, all EU countries achieved improvements in terms of energy intensity, while in the last five years (2014-2019) only Malta saw a rise in energy intensity.
Source data for tables and graphs
Data sources & methodology
Data on energy are submitted on the basis of internationally agreed methodology in joint annual energy questionnaires (Eurostat - OECD/International Energy Agency (IEA) - UNECE). Data are available for all EU countries and the methodology is harmonised for all reporting countries. Consequently, data comparability across countries is very high. All energy data are available in the online database. Energy balances are constructed based on Eurostat's methodology that is described in the Energy balance guide.
Everyday life depends on reliable and affordable energy services, such as heating and cooling, electricity supply, and transport. Energy enables the smooth functioning of all economic sectors, from business and industry to agriculture. The EU still relies heavily on fossil fuels for its energy and faces a number of challenges to securing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supplies. Increasing energy efficiency, improving energy productivity and reducing total consumption, while at the same time ensuring security of supply, competitiveness and access to affordable energy for all its citizens, are some of the ways the EU can improve its energy system. Energy statistics provides crucial information for policy makers on many of these issues.
The energy union strategy aims at building an energy union that gives EU consumers - households and businesses - secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy. The European Green Deal provides an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, as well as to restore biodiversity and cut pollution. The plan outlines investments needed and financing tools available. It explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition. The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050. The Commission has proposed a European Climate Law to turn this political commitment into a legal obligation.
Energy statistics renders the complex processes of the energy we use more comprehensible and can help us understand the developments of energy consumption. It includes a broad spectrum of energy data such as annual data on crude oil, oil products, natural gas, electricity, derived heat, solid fossil fuels, renewables and wastes, covering the full spectrum of the energy balance positions from supply through transformation to final energy consumption by sector and fuel type. These are the data used in this article.
- Energy (t_nrg), see:
- Energy statistics - main indicators (t_nrg_indic)
- Energy (nrg), see:
- Energy statistics - quantities, annual data (nrg_quanta)
- Energy balances (nrg_bal)
- Supply, transformation and consumption - commodity balances (nrg_cb)
- Energy indicator (nrg_ind)
- Energy infrastructure and capacities (nrg_inf)
- Stocks (nrg_stk)
- Trade by partner country (nrg_t)
- Energy, transport and environment statistics - 2020 edition
- Energy data - 2020 edition
- Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context — 2020 edition
- Shedding light on energy in the EU — A guided tour of energy statistics — 2020 edition
- Energy balances (ESMS metadata file — nrg_bal_esms)
- Energy statistics - quantities (European and national ESMS metadata file — nrg_quant_esms)
- Supply, transformation and consumption — commodity balances (ESMS metadata file — nrg_cb_esms)
- Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics
- Summaries of EU legislation: Common system for the production of energy statistics
- EUROPE 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
- Summaries of EU legislation: Europe 2020: the European Union strategy for growth and employment
- After a decreasing trend from 2010 to 2014, the consumption increased during the 2015-2017 period, dropping again in 2018 and 2019. The weather, especially during winter periods for northern European countries and summer periods for southern European countries, also influences the consumption of energy.
- Energy transformation includes energy lost during conversion of primary energy products into secondary energy products that are actually consumed by end users; for example crude oil refining into motor gasoline or production of electricity from coal.
- In energy balances, international aviation and maritime bunkers are excluded from the transport sector.