Energy statistics introduced

Latest update of text: June 2020

Planned article update: December 2021

Energy statistics comprise a very dynamic statistical domain because of the intensive development of EU policies, the fast pace of technological progress and the importance of basing EU energy policies on high quality data. This article provides an overview of Eurostat's work on energy statistics.

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The European Energy Strategy needs to be underpinned by statistical evidence for sound decision making. The European Union's energy policy includes the need for secure energy supplies, sustainable energy consumption, lower fossil fuel dependence and improvements in energy efficiency. To this end, energy statistics is one of the key inputs for monitoring progress towards the existing targets and goals (Europe 2020 and Europe 2030) and developing new energy policies (the Commission's impact assessments). As energy is vital to many sectors of the economy, energy data contribute also in explaining developments in other areas such as transport and climate change.

The growing demand for energy data is a continuous challenge for statisticians. The cost effectiveness of the development, production and dissemination of statistics is often highlighted as one of the governing principles. This means that the production of statistics and the related reporting burden must be in proportion to the importance of the results and the benefits sought. Keeping this in mind, reporting countries and Eurostat worked together in the Task Force on the Future of Energy Statistics and produced a list of recommendations and conclusions.

In order to meet the requirements of policymakers for Energy Union monitoring, Eurostat has developed a coherent and harmonised system of energy statistics. Detailed data collections cover all Member States of the EU; the EFTA countries; the candidate countries and potential candidates; and the Energy Community Contracting Parties. Eurostat and the reporting countries meet twice per year during the Energy Statistics Working Group meetings.

Eurostat - statistics on energy

Monthly and annual energy statistics on quantities

Annual energy statistics provide the most comprehensive coverage. On the supply side, data cover production, trade and stock changes. The transformation of energies is also included (for example electricity generation from natural gas and refining crude oil into motor gasoline). On the demand side, coverage includes disaggregated data on consumption in the industrial sector, transport sector, households, services, etc. In addition, complementing indicators are collected, such as calorific values and capacities of production. Statistics are compiled for crude oil, various oil products, natural gas, electricity, derived heat, different types of solid fossil fuels, renewables (including biofuels) and wastes. Time series are generally available from 1990 onwards. While monthly energy statistics provide less comprehensive statistical coverage than annual data, the timeliness is much better. Data on the supply (production, imports, exports and stock changes) are available in 2 to 3 months. Only limited information is available about consumption of energies on a monthly basis. The legal basis for monthly and annual energy data collections is Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics.

Energy balance

The energy balance is the most complete statistical accounting of energy products and their flow in the economy. It allows users to see the total amount of energy extracted from the environment, traded, transformed and used by end-users. It also shows the relative contribution of each energy carrier (fuel, product). The energy balance facilitates the analysis of the overall domestic energy market and monitoring impacts of energy policies. It offers a complete view on the energy situation of a country in a compact format, such as on energy consumption of the whole economy and of individual sectors.

The energy balance presents all statistically significant energy products (fuels) of a country and their production, transformation and consumption by different types of economic actors (industry, transport, etc.). Therefore, it is the natural starting point to study the energy sector.

Eurostat - Sankey visualisation tool for energy balances

The energy balance is a multi-purpose tool to:

  • Provide comprehensive information on the energy supply and demand in order to understand the energy security situation, the effective functioning of energy markets and other relevant policies;
  • Provide the essential basis for calculating various indicators monitoring progress towards Energy Union and Europe 2020 targets (energy efficiency indicators, share of renewable energy, energy dependency, etc.);
  • Ensure comparability of statistical information between different reference periods and between different countries/regions;
  • Provide data for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion;
  • Serve as a quality tool to ensure completeness, consistency and comparability of energy statistics;
  • Provide an input for modelling and forecasting.

Eurostat's energy balances, its methodology and the calculation tool (balance builder) are available on its website.

Eurostat - statistics on energy prices

Semestrial statistics on prices

Eurostat collects and publishes electricity and natural gas prices based on the Regulation (EU) No 2016/1952 on European statistics on natural gas and electricity prices. To address the need for greater transparency on energy prices, price statistics contain a detailed set of sub-components on taxes and levies and network prices. More detailed and transparent price statistics should help the promotion of fair competition, by encouraging consumers to choose between different energy suppliers. Energy price transparency can be made more effective by publishing and broadcasting prices and pricing systems as widely as possible. Information on price systems is also collected and published by Eurostat.

Eurostat also cooperates with DG Energy on the reports on energy prices and costs in Europe.

To complement the market overview, Eurostat collects on a voluntary basis "competition indicators" for natural gas and electricity markets: Electricity market indicators and Natural gas market indicators

Monitoring progress towards Europe 2020 and 2030 targets

The Europe 2020 strategy emphasises smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in order to improve Europe's competitiveness and productivity. For energy, the goals for 2020 are reaching the 20 % share of energy from renewable sources and improving energy efficiency by 20 %. Eurostat provides main indicators monitoring progress towards these targets as well as complementary data that can provide additional insights into the developments. Especially for the share of energy from renewable sources, Eurostat has developed the SHARES tool that implements Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable energy. Data on progress towards Europe 2020 targets as well as Europe 2030 targets in the are of energy are available in the following datasets:

More information is available in the articles Energy saving statistics and Renewable energy statistics.

Supporting other energy policies and initiatives

A competitive, reliable and sustainable energy sector is essential for all advanced economies. The energy sector has been in the spotlight in recent years due to a number of issues that have pushed energy to the top of national and European political agendas. Eurostat supports various activities with its statistics, online visualisation tools and projects, that will deliver results in the future. The most noteworthy developments are:


The European Green Deal and the Energy Union

Energy Union

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. 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.

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