Enlargement countries - energy statistics

This is the stable Version.

Data extracted in February 2019.

Planned article update: April 2020.


Solid fuels were the main source of primary energy production in most of the EU enlargement countries in 2017.

In 2017, the Western Balkans countries were generally less dependent on energy imports than the EU, while Turkey was more dependent on energy imports.

Compared with the EU, the contribution of renewable sources to electricity consumption was far higher in most of the enlargement countries in 2017.

Electricity produced from renewable energy sources, 2017

This article is part of an online publication and provides information on a range of energy statistics for the European Union (EU) enlargement countries, in other words the candidate countries and potential candidates. Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Turkey currently have candidate status, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo [1] are potential candidates.

The article presents an overview of main energy indicators, notably primary energy production, net imports of energy and energy consumption, as well as information on the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation.

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Primary production and net imports

In 2017, the EU-28’s primary energy production amounted to 758 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), 12.3 % lower than in 2007 (see Table 1). The general downward movement of EU-28 production was gradual, except for 2009 when it fell considerably, in part due to the effects of the global financial and economic crisis. Lower levels of primary energy production in the EU-28 may, at least in part, be attributed to resources (such as oil, gas or coal fields) becoming exhausted or uneconomical.

Table 1: Primary energy production, 2007, 2012 and 2017
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_s)

Primary energy production in Turkey was 36.5 million toe in 2017, by far the largest value recorded among the enlargement countries, ahead of the 10.5 million toe of energy production in Serbia. In contrast to the situation in the EU-28, primary energy production increased between 2007 and 2017 in many of the enlargement countries, most notably in Albania (up overall by 59.1 %), Turkey (32.9 %), Kosovo (25.7 %) and Montenegro (18.9 %). In Serbia the level of primary production in 2017 was almost the same as in 2007, while primary energy production in North Macedonia was 25.2 % lower at the end of the period under consideration.

Solid fuels were the main source of primary energy production in a majority of enlargement countries

The structure of primary energy production is largely determined by a territory’s natural resources and also by its strategic policy decisions which affect, in particular, the development of nuclear energy and renewable energy sources. In 2017, nuclear and renewable energy sources (the main sources under ‘Others’ in Table 1) made up nearly three fifths (59.5 %) of the energy production in the EU-28. By contrast, 78.7 % of Kosovo’s energy production was from solid fuels and this was also the main source of primary energy production — accounting for more than half of all primary production — in four of the six other enlargement countries. The main exception was Albania where petroleum products were the main source of primary energy production, with a share of 57.4 %. In Turkey the share of solid fuels was just under half (43.0 %) and slightly lower than the share accounted for by other sources (48.8 %).

Enlargement countries generally less dependent on energy imports than the EU-28

All of the enlargement countries were net importers of energy in 2017, as was the EU-28 (see Table 2). Relative to population size, the EU-28’s net energy imports were 1.85 toe per inhabitant, a little more than a quarter above the average (1.46 toe per inhabitant) recorded for Turkey, which had the highest ratio among the enlargement countries: all of the remaining enlargement countries reported net imports of 0.8 toe per inhabitant or less, in other words, less than half of the level recorded in the EU-28.

Table 2: Net imports of energy and energy dependency, 2007, 2012 and 2017
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_s) and (demo_gind)

Relative to its overall energy needs (gross inland energy consumption), Turkey also had the highest energy dependency, as net imports made up 77.1 % of its gross inland energy consumption in 2017. North Macedonia was the only other enlargement country that reported that net imports supplied more than half of gross inland energy consumption, with a ratio of 56.1 %; elsewhere among the enlargement countries this ratio was 40 % or lower. For comparison, the EU-28’s energy dependency was 55.1 % in 2017.

Energy consumption

Gross inland energy consumption is an indicator of the overall energy needs of an economy, these being met by primary production and net imports (with data also reflecting changes in stocks and bunkers). In 2017, the EU-28’s gross inland energy consumption was 1.67 billion toe (see Table 3), having fallen from 1.82 billion toe in 2007. Between these years there was an overall downward path to gross inland energy consumption, with a notable fall in 2009 and rise in 2010, both related to the global financial and economic crisis.

Table 3: Gross inland energy consumption and energy intensity of the economy, 2007, 2012 and 2017
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_s) and (nama_10_gdp)

In North Macedonia, gross inland energy consumption fell slightly between 2007 and 2012 and more strongly between 2012 and 2017, such that by 2017 it was 10.9 % lower than in 2007, the largest overall fall among the enlargement countries. In Montenegro there was a fall of 9.3 % between 2007 and 2017 and in Serbia energy consumption fell 5.1 % during the same period. By contrast, Turkey’s gross inland energy consumption increased 48.4 % between 2007 and 2017, while in Kosovo the increase during this period was 25.4 % and in Albania the increase was 16.9 %.

High energy intensity in the enlargement countries, particularly in Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Energy intensity is a measure of the efficiency with which an economy consumes energy to produce output, with gross domestic product (GDP) being used as the measure of overall output: it is expressed as units of energy consumed per unit of GDP, the latter in constant prices (or using chain-linked volume data) to remove the effects of inflation. As well as reflecting the efficiency of transforming energy sources (for example to electricity) or converting energy to heat, motion, light and other uses, this measure also depends on a range of factors, such as the economic structure of a country, the climate, the standard of living and transportation patterns/preferences, to name but a few.

The energy intensity of the EU-28 and most of the enlargement countries (for which data are available) decreased between 2007 and 2012 and again between 2012 and 2017 (see Table 3); the one exception was Albania which recorded a fall in energy intensity between 2007 and 2012 followed by a smaller rise through to 2017. In 2017, 118 kilogrammes of oil equivalent (kgoe) were needed in the EU-28 to generate EUR 1 000 of GDP (at 2010 prices). In Turkey, the enlargement country with the lowest energy intensity, the equivalent level of consumption was 41 % higher than in the EU-28, at 166 kgoe per EUR 1 000 of GDP (at 2010 prices), while in Albania it was 93 % higher. Elsewhere among the enlargement countries, energy intensity was at least double that in the EU-28, reaching nearly four times as high in Serbia and Kosovo and slightly exceeding four times as high in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2016 data).

Albania reported a high share of final energy consumption by transport

Industry accounted for approximately one quarter of the final energy consumption of the EU-28 in 2017 (see Table 4). This share fell slightly from 24.8 % in 2012 to 24.6 % in 2017. There were two enlargement countries that had higher shares of final energy consumption for industry: in Turkey (32.0 %) and Serbia (27.8 %) this share was around three tenths. By contrast, in Montenegro and Albania, the industrial share of final energy consumption was below one fifth. Comparing 2012 and 2017, the share of industry in final energy consumption fell in all of the enlargement countries for which data are available (no time series for Bosnia and Herzegovina), with the largest declines in Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Table 4: Analysis of final energy consumption, 2012 and 2017
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_s)

The share of final energy consumed by transport was 30.8 % in the EU-28 in 2017. In Turkey a somewhat lower share was recorded (28.2 %), while a similar pattern was repeated in Kosovo (27.1 %) and the share for transport was notably lower in Serbia (25.0 %). In the four remaining enlargement countries the share of transport in final energy consumption was higher than in the EU-28, by a small amount in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2016 data) and by a larger margin in North Macedonia and most notably in Albania. The relative share of transport in final energy consumption rose between 2012 and 2017 in the EU-28 and four of the six enlargement countries with data available (no time series for Bosnia and Herzegovina). The strongest growth for this share was recorded in North Macedonia (up 13.5 percentage points), while Kosovo and Albania were the two countries recording a fall.

The share of final energy consumption by households was just over one quarter (27.2 %) in the EU-28 in 2017. In Albania and Turkey the share for households was somewhat lower than that observed in the EU-28, while the share for households in most of the other enlargement countries was higher than in the EU-28, slightly higher in North Macedonia and clearly higher elsewhere. Among the enlargement countries, the share of final energy consumption by households in 2017 peaked at just under two fifths in Kosovo (37.7 %) and Montenegro (36.4 %).

Electricity generation

Renewable sources’ contribution to electricity consumption was higher in most of the enlargement countries than in the EU-28

In the five years between 2012 and 2017 the ratio of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to electricity consumption in the EU-28 increased by 2.8 percentage points from 14.7 % to 17.5 % (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Electricity produced from renewable energy sources, 2012 and 2017
(% of gross electricity consumption)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ind_ren)

In one of the enlargement countries — Turkey — the value observed for this ratio was lower than that in the EU-28 in 2017, while elsewhere the shares were all higher, ranging between 19.7 % in North Macedonia and 40.0 % in Montenegro.

Like the EU-28, two of the enlargement countries reported a higher ratio of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to electricity consumption in 2017 than in 2012, with the largest increase (in percentage point terms) in Kosovo (up 4.2 points) and the other in North Macedonia (1.6 points). This ratio was the same in 2017 as in 2012 in Turkey while elsewhere the ratio was lower in 2017 than in 2012. It should be noted that hydro-power was often the major source of renewable energy used for electricity generation in the enlargement countries, the output of which is dependent on the amount of rainfall, which varies — sometimes greatly — from one year to the next.

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

Data for the enlargement countries are collected for a wide range of indicators each year through a questionnaire that is sent by Eurostat to partner countries which have either the status of being candidate countries or potential candidates. A network of contacts in each country has been established for updating these questionnaires, generally within the national statistical offices, but potentially including representatives of other data-producing organisations (for example, central banks or government ministries). The statistics collected in this annual exercise are available free-of-charge on Eurostat’s website, together with a wide range of other socio-economic indicators collected as part of this initiative. Note that in 2016, it was decided to stop collecting nearly all energy statistics using the questionnaires, instead relying on information that was collected by Eurostat’s unit responsible for energy statistics. Alongside Eurostat’s regular collection of energy statistics from EU Member States and EFTA countries, the enlargement countries provide energy statistics directly to Eurostat and these data have been used as the basis for most of the analysis presented in this article (with the remainder still sourced from the annual questionnaire). These statistics from Eurostat’s regular collection of energy statistics are made available free-of-charge on Eurostat’s website.

In order to meet the increasing requirements of policymakers for energy monitoring, Eurostat has developed a coherent and harmonised system of energy statistics. As well as covering EU Member States and EFTA countries these data are also collected from several enlargement countries. Time series are generally available from 1990 onwards. The collection of energy data is based on Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on energy statistics.

Data are available for a variety of fuel types, namely solid fuels, crude oil and petroleum products, natural and derived gases, nuclear heat, electricity, waste and renewable energy sources. Basic data on energy quantities are in fuel specific units, such as liquid fuels in thousand tonnes, electricity in kilowatt-hours; these units are converted to common energy units (such as tonnes of oil equivalent (toe)) to allow the addition or comparison of data for different energy sources.

Tables in this article use the following notation:

Value in italics     data value is forecasted, provisional or estimated and is therefore likely to change;
: not available.


A competitive, reliable and sustainable energy sector is essential for all economies. The energy sector has been under the spotlight in recent years due to a number of issues that have pushed energy to the top of national and EU political agendas, for example, concerning the security of supply of fossil fuels and the impact of the production and consumption of energy on the environment.

In 2009, a climate and energy package was adopted by the EU, with the goal of combating climate change and boosting the EU’s energy security and competitiveness through the development of a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. This package included a set of binding targets which are referred to as the 20–20–20 targets which commit the EU to the following changes by 2020:

  • a reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20 % below 1990 levels;
  • at least 20 % of the EU’s gross final energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources;
  • at least 10 % of transport final energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources;
  • a 20 % reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, to be achieved by improving energy efficiency.

The European Commission is looking at cost-efficient ways to make the European economy more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming; energy efficiency is expected to be a key driver of this transition. With its Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050 (see COM (2011) 112 final), the European Commission has set out a pathway for achieving much deeper emission cuts by the middle of the century: by moving to a low-carbon society, the EU could be using around 30 % less energy in 2050 than it did in 2005.

The use of renewable energy sources is seen as a key element of the EU’s energy policy and should help to: reduce dependence on fuel from non-member countries; reduce emissions from carbon-based energy sources, and decouple energy costs from oil prices. In January 2014, the European Commission put forward a further set of energy and climate objectives for 2030 with the aim of encouraging private investment in infrastructure and low-carbon technologies. These objectives are seen as a step towards meeting greenhouse gas emission targets for 2050. The key targets proposed are to have 40 % less greenhouse gases in 2030 than there were in 1990 and for the share of renewable energy (in consumption) to reach at least 27% by 2030. Alongside the proposed targets were plans to reform the emissions trading system and to consider further amendments to the energy efficiency directive.

The energy community was established as an international organisation in 2006 and currently includes the EU and several non-member countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia among the enlargement countries, as well as Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine; Norway, Turkey and Armenia have observer status. The aim of the energy community is to extend the internal market concerning energy to south-east Europe and beyond. The objectives are to:

  • attract investment in power generation and networks to ensure stable and continuous energy supply that is essential for economic development and social stability;
  • create an integrated energy market allowing for cross-border energy trade and integration with the EU market;
  • enhance the security of supply;
  • improve the environmental situation in relation to energy supply in the region;
  • enhance competition at a regional level and exploit economies of scale.

While basic principles and institutional frameworks for producing statistics are already in place, the enlargement countries are expected to increase progressively the volume and quality of their data and to transmit these data to Eurostat in the context of the EU enlargement process. EU standards in the field of statistics require the existence of a statistical infrastructure based on principles such as professional independence, impartiality, relevance, confidentiality of individual data and easy access to official statistics; they cover methodology, classifications and standards for production.

Eurostat has the responsibility to ensure that statistical production of the enlargement countries complies with the EU acquis in the field of statistics. To do so, Eurostat supports the national statistical offices and other producers of official statistics through a range of initiatives, such as pilot surveys, training courses, traineeships, study visits, workshops and seminars, and participation in meetings within the European Statistical System (ESS). The ultimate goal is the provision of harmonised, high-quality data that conforms to European and international standards.

Additional information on statistical cooperation with the enlargement countries is provided here.


  1. This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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