European Neighbourhood Policy - East - energy statistics

Data extracted in November 2018.

Planned article update: January 2020.


In 2017, Azerbaijan was the only net exporter of energy among the five European Neighbourhood Policy-East countries (41 million tonnes of oil equivalent) .

The share of final household energy consumption recorded in each of the European Neighbourhood Policy-East countries was higher than in the EU.

Structure of primary energy production, by product, 2017
(% of total)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

This article is part of an online publication; it presents information on a range of energy statistics for the European Union (EU) and the six countries that together form the European Neighbourhood Policy-East (ENP-East) region, namely, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Note that data shown in this article for Georgia exclude the regions over which the government of Georgia does not exercise effective control and data for Moldova exclude Transnistria. The latest data for Ukraine generally have a break in series in 2014 as a result of excluding the territories which are not under effective control of Ukrainian government and the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (see specific footnotes for precise coverage).

The article provides information on the structure of energy production and energy consumption in the ENP-East countries as well as developments over time. This information is presented through a range of indicators including: primary energy production, gross inland energy consumption and gross electricity generation.

Full article

Primary energy production

Energy has been a key feature on the EU’s political agenda for a number of years, largely as a result of fluctuating energy prices, issues surrounding the security of supply, and increased attention to anthropogenic (human-induced) effects of energy use on climate change, in particular, increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2016, the primary energy production of the EU-28 was 755 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe); a toe is a normalised unit of energy, equivalent to the approximate amount of energy that can be extracted from one tonne of crude oil. The level of production in the EU-28 can be compared with worldwide production (according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)) of 13.8 billion toe in 2016.

The sum of total primary energy production in the ENP-East countries (including 2016 data for Armenia and 2015 data for Georgia and Ukraine) was slightly less than one sixth of that recorded for the EU-28, reaching 126 million toe in 2017. There were two main producers of primary energy in the ENP-East countries: production was 62 million tonnes in Ukraine in 2015 and was 57 million tonnes in Azerbaijan in 2017 (see Table 1); the next highest level of production was in Belarus (4 million tonnes).

Table 1: Main indicators for energy, 2007, 2012 and 2017
(thousand toe)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

Natural resource endowments of fossil fuels largely determine the structure of primary energy production. In Ukraine, the major endowment is coal (mainly located in the easternmost regions), while there was also a considerable production from nuclear power, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant with six reactors, in Zaporizhia. Oil and gas are the principal sources of primary energy production in Azerbaijan, with most of the fields located offshore in the Caspian Sea. By contrast, in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova there were far fewer energy resources available for primary production.

The level of primary energy production may fluctuate considerably from one year to the next as a result of changes in energy demand (reflecting for example economic fortunes and the number of heating days), the development of energy prices (which are affected by the level of market supply and demand) and the weather (particularly for hydro power). Developments in primary energy production may also reflect new energy resources coming on-stream or existing energy resources becoming depleted.

Between 2007 and 2016, primary energy production in the EU-28 fell by 13.3 % overall. Figure 1 shows that the decline in EU-28 output was fairly consistent, with the only increase during this period in 2010 (growth of 2.0 %) and the largest falls, both around 4 %, in 2009 and 2011.

Figure 1: Primary energy production, 2007-2017
(2007 = 100, based on toe)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

There were contrasting developments for the two largest energy producers among the ENP-East countries: the level of primary energy production in Azerbaijan was 26 % higher in 2010 as it had been three years earlier, fell somewhat in 2011, and was relatively stable through until 2016; production then fell 4.9 % in 2017 such that it was 5.2 % higher than in 2007. By contrast, the level of production in Ukraine was relatively unchanged during the period between 2007 and 2013, although this was followed by double-digit contractions in 2014 (-10.5 %) and 2015 (-19.9 %) which may be attributed at least in part to the change in geographical coverage of Ukrainian energy statistics. In Belarus, the level of primary energy production was similar in 2017 to that in 2007, resulting from a decline in production between 2011 and 2015 and a recovery thereafter. However, the largest relative changes in primary energy production were recorded for the two ENP-East countries with the smallest levels of output. There was a rapid expansion in the level of primary energy production in Moldova between 2007 and 2009 and between 2010 and 2017 (note that there is a break in series between 2009 and2010). The level of production in Georgia increased between 2007 and 2013 (with small falls in 2008 and 2012), but thereafter contracted, such that by 2016 it was around 1.6 times its 2007 level.

The structure of primary energy production in the EU-28 is relatively varied, reflecting the availability of different fossil fuel deposits and the potential for hydro power, as well as different policies in relation to the production of energy from nuclear fuels and renewables. Solid fuels accounted for more than one sixth (17.5 %) of the EU-28’s primary energy production in 2016, while gas accounted for just less than one seventh (14.2 %) and petroleum products for just less than one tenth (9.8 %); the ‘others’ category is primarily composed of nuclear energy and renewable energy.

Figure 2: Structure of primary energy production, by product, 2017
(% of total)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

Figure 2 shows that in 2017 the largest contribution to the primary energy production of Azerbaijan and Belarus was from petroleum products. There were relatively low levels of production of solid fuels, petroleum products and gas in Georgia (2016 data) and Moldova, whose production was mainly focused on renewable energy sources, with an expanding hydro power industry in the former and a relatively high contribution from biomass for the latter. In Armenia (2016 data) the largest share of production was from nuclear power.

Net imports

Energy-related products represented an important source of foreign revenue for some ENP-East countries, although fluctuations in energy prices may result in considerable variations in the value of trade from one year to the next: the data presented in Figure 3 are in quantity, not value.

In 2016 (see Table 1), the EU-28 was a net importer of energy (904 million toe), with net imports accounting for a larger share of inland consumption than primary production (755 million toe); in other words, just over half of the energy required in the EU was imported from non-member countries. Some of the ENP-East countries were even more reliant on energy imports (see Figure 3 and Table 1), as the quantity of net imports in Belarus was five and a half times (5.5 : 1) as high as its primary production in 2017 and the corresponding ratios in Moldova (2.6 : 1) and Georgia (2.6 : 1 in 2015) and Armenia (2.0 : 1 in 2016) also indicated a high degree of energy dependency.

By contrast, Azerbaijan was the only net exporter of energy among the five ENP-East countries for which data are available, some 41 million toe in 2017. The surplus of energy available for export was large: net energy exports from Azerbaijan were 2.6 times as high as its gross inland consumption.

Figure 3 shows the development of net imports of primary energy. During the period 2007-2017, net imports in the EU-28 fell from a peak of 1.01 billion toe in 2008 (prior to the onset of the global financial and economic crisis) to 938 million toe in 2009, a fall of 7.6 %. Thereafter there was a modest increase in 2010 followed by four consecutive years of falling net imports of primary energy, which may be attributed, at least in part, to energy efficiency savings that resulted in a lower level of consumption. In 2015 and 2016, net energy imports in the EU-28 increased again, by 2.2 % and 0.2 % respectively.

Figure 3: Net imports of primary energy, 2007-2017
(thousand toe)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

Among the ENP-East countries, net energy imports in Belarus were 4.2 % lower in 2017 than in 2007, while in Moldova they were 9.9 % higher in 2017 than in 2010. By contrast, net energy exports from Azerbaijan grew at a rapid pace from 41 million toe in 2007 to 54 million toe by 2010, but then fell in 2011 and 2012, after which they remained relatively unchanged until falls of 2.3 % in 2016 and 8.7 % in 2017.

Gross inland energy consumption

The main difference between levels of primary energy production and gross inland energy consumption is international trade: a shortfall in production needs to be met by net imports, while a production surplus is generally accompanied by net exports. As well as primary production and international trade, gross inland consumption also takes into account changes in stocks and the supply of energy to bunkers (for international maritime transport).

In 2016, gross inland energy consumption in the EU-28 was 1.64 billion toe (see Table 1). Based on the latest available data (including 2016 data for Armenia and 2015 data for Georgia and Ukraine), the cumulative gross inland energy consumption of the ENP-East countries was 142 million toe, equivalent to just over one twelfth (8.7 %) of the EU-28 total. The highest level of gross inland energy consumption among the ENP-East countries was recorded in the most populous country: Ukraine (90 million toe). Belarus (26 million toe) and Azerbaijan (15 million toe) had the second and third highest levels of consumption among the ENP-East countries.

Figure 4 shows the development of gross inland energy consumption over the most recent decade for which data are available. There was a marked reduction (9.4 % overall) in the level of energy consumption in the EU-28 during the period 2007-2016, which may, at least in part, be attributed to efforts to improve energy efficiency, but may also reflect economic developments over the period under consideration.

Figure 4: Gross inland energy consumption, 2007-2017
(2007 = 100, based on toe)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

Gross inland energy consumption in Azerbaijan fell by 4.1 % overall between 2007 and 2010: however, it subsequently rose for five consecutive years to stand 23.9 % higher in 2015 than in 2010; in 2016 and 2017 consumption initially fell back slightly and then rebounded close to the 2015 peak. Moldova was the only other ENP-East country to report that its consumption was higher at the end of the period under consideration than at the beginning (note there is a break in series). It is not possible to draw firm conclusions on changes in consumption for Ukraine, as the data available for 2014 and 2015 exclude the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. In Belarus the level of consumption in 2017 was 4.4 % lower than it had been 10 years earlier, despite initially increasing by 13.6 % between 2007 and 2012.

Final energy consumption

Figure 5 shows the structure of final energy consumption. Within the EU-28 there was a relatively uniform split between the different energy uses in 2016. Transport accounted for one third (33.2 %) of the energy consumed in the EU-28, while households (25.7 %) and industrial activities (25.0 %) each accounted for one quarter, leaving approximately one sixth (16.1 %) of the total attributed to ‘other sectors’, primarily services (including those of the state), agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Figure 5: Structure of final energy consumption, by sector, 2017
(% of total)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_100a)

In 2017, each of the ENP-East countries reported that households accounted for a higher share of final energy consumption than was the case in the EU-28. The share of households peaked at 50.4 % in Moldova and 41.3 % in Azerbaijan, while more than one third of the energy consumed in Armenia (2016 data) and Ukraine (2015 data) was accounted for by households; the shares in Georgia (31.6 %; 2016 data) and Belarus (28.1 %) were somewhat lower. Note that households in the ENP-East countries may need to consume considerably more energy for heating during the winter months than households (on average) in the EU-28.

The industrial sector in Ukraine (2015 data) and Belarus (2017 data) was a major consumer of energy, accounting for 34.5 % and 32.4 % of final energy consumption. This share was considerably higher than in the EU-28 (25.0 %; 2016 data) and the other ENP-East countries, where the share of industry ranged from 15.3 % in Armenia (2016 data) down to 8.1 % in Moldova (2017 data).

The relative share of transport in final energy consumption also varied considerably across the ENP-East countries, ranging from a low of 18.4 % in Ukraine (2015 data) to a high of 37.8 % in Georgia (2016 data). By contrast, ‘other sectors’ accounted for a relatively similar share of final energy consumption across all ENP-East countries: values ranged from 12.2 % in Ukraine (2015 data) to 17.6 % in Armenia (2016 data) and were therefore at a similar level to the share recorded in the EU-28 (16.1 %; 2016 data).

Electricity generation

Some ENP-East countries are confronted by energy supply issues, whereby businesses and households cannot be certain that they will have an uninterrupted supply of electricity; this may result from a lack of productive capacity (not enough plants, not enough primary energy, or unreliable plants that have to go off-grid) or issues surrounding the security of energy supply, for example, when importing fuels or electricity (inefficient transmission systems or geo-political intervention). The Black Sea Energy Transmission System is a project supported by the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) which seeks to connect the power grids of the southern Caucasus with Turkey and Europe, reducing transmission losses and making the region independent from single supply sources.

In 2016, according to Eurostat’s energy statistics, gross electricity generation in the EU-28 was 3.26 million gigawatt hours (GWh). The information collected from the six ENP-East countries shows that their aggregated electricity generation totalled 242.9 thousand GWh in 2016, equivalent to 7.5 % of the EU-28 total. The level of electricity generation in the ENP-East countries was highest in Ukraine (165 thousand GWh; 2016 data), followed by Belarus (35 thousand GWh; 2017 data) and Azerbaijan (24 thousand GWh; 2017 data).

Figure 6 shows the development of gross electricity generation, with the quantity of electricity generated in the EU-28 falling overall by 3.8 % during the period 2007-2016. Moldova and Ukraine were the only ENP-East countries to report a lower level of electricity generation at the end of this period than at the beginning, with an 18.5 % contraction in the former and a 16.0 % reduction in the latter; note that the reported level of electricity generation in Ukraine fell strongly in 2014 and 2015, at least in part due to changes in geographical coverage. By contrast, there was a fall and then a recovery in the generation of electricity in Azerbaijan leading to an overall increase of 11.3 % when comparing 2017 with 2007 and an irregular development in Belarus with an overall increase of 8.4 %. Stronger growth was recorded in the other two ENP-East countries: an initial period of growth followed by a relatively stable development in Armenia resulted in a 31.6 % increase between 2007 and 2017; strong growth in 2010 followed by a more consistent but subdued pattern of growth between 2012 and 2016 in Georgia resulted in overall growth between 2007 and 2016 of 38.7 %.

Figure 6: Gross electricity generation, 2007-2017
(2007 = 100, based on GWh)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_105a)

Data sources

The data for ENP-East countries are supplied by and under the responsibility of the national statistical authorities of each country on a voluntary basis. The data result from an annual data collection cycle that has been established by Eurostat. These statistics are available free-of-charge on Eurostat’s website, together with a range of additional indicators for ENP-East countries covering most socio-economic topics.

For EU statistics, the main legislation covering the collection of statistics in relation to energy quantities is Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on energy statistics. Since its adoption, it has been amended four times and a consolidated version is available. Energy quantities are usually measured in terms of tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), a normalised unit of energy that is assigned a net calorific value of 41 868 kilojoules/kg and allows the potential energy from different quantities of various energy sources to be compared.

Energy commodities extracted or captured directly from natural resources are called primary energy sources, while energy commodities which are produced from primary energy sources in transformation plants are called derived products; primary energy sources cover, for example, coal mines, crude oil fields or hydro power plants. The primary production of crude oil is defined as the quantities of fuel extracted or produced within national boundaries, including off-shore production. Primary production of natural gas is defined as the quantities of dry gas, measured after purification and extraction of natural gas liquids and sulphur. Energy transformed from one form to another, such as electricity or heat generation in thermal power plants, is not considered as primary production of energy.

Gross inland energy consumption is the energy that a country requires to meet its internal (national) demand. This covers: consumption by the energy sector itself; distribution and transformation losses; final energy consumption by end users; non-energy use by end users (such as feedstock for the petrochemical industry, lubricants); statistical differences.

Whenever consumption exceeds primary production, the shortfall needs to be accounted for by imports of primary or derived products. Net imports are calculated as the quantity of imports minus the equivalent quantity of exports. Imports represent all entries into the national territory excluding transit quantities (notably via gas and oil pipelines); exports similarly cover all quantities exported from the national territory. If a country is a net importer of energy (more imports than exports) then the sign of this indicator is positive, if a country is a net exporter of energy (more exports than imports) then it is negative.

Final energy consumption is the total energy consumed by end users, such as industry, transport or households. It is the energy which reaches the final consumer’s door and excludes that which is used by the energy sector itself.

Gross electricity production/generation refers to the process of producing electrical energy. It is the total amount of electrical energy produced by transforming other forms of energy, for example nuclear or wind power. It is commonly expressed in gigawatt hours (GWh); one GWh is equivalent to a billion (109) watt-hours.

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, confidential or unreliable value;
not applicable.


The key objectives of the EU’s energy policy may be grouped together under three main headings:

  • to secure energy supplies, ensuring the reliable provision of energy;
  • to ensure that that energy providers operate in a competitive environment;
  • to promote sustainable energy consumption, through the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and fossil fuel dependence.

The EU’s Energy Union seeks to ensure secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy, by promoting the free flow of energy across national borders. With this in mind, new pipelines and power lines are being built to develop EU-wide networks for gas and electricity, and common rules are being designed to increase competition between suppliers and to promote consumer choice. The EU is also trying to stimulate the domestic production of energy (especially through the development of renewable energy sources) and to promote energy efficiency.

One of the biggest challenges facing the EU is its dependence on energy imports, as these account for more than half of the energy used in the EU each year. There are a range of related issues, including: rising global demand; energy price fluctuations; scarcity of supply for some fuels; or, the small number of global energy producers and associated geopolitical concerns.

To pursue these goals, the EU has developed a strategy that is based on a collection of targets that have been formulated for 2020, 2030, and 2050. In December 2011, the Energy Roadmap 2050 set a long-term goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % (when compared with 1990 levels) and alluded to four key areas for creating a more sustainable, competitive and secure energy system by 2050: energy efficiency; renewable energy; nuclear energy; and carbon capture and storage.

The EU’s 2020 Energy Strategy defines its energy priorities for the period 2010-2020 and aims to:

  • reduce greenhouse gases by at least 20 % (compared with 1990);
  • increase the share of renewable energy in the EU’s energy mix to at least 20 % of consumption;
  • improve energy efficiency by at least 20 %;
  • see all EU Member States achieving a 10 % share of renewable energy in their transport sectors.

These initial targets were further developed and a new set of headline targets for 2030 were agreed by EU heads of state and government on 24 October 2004, namely to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 % (compared with 1990);
  • raise the share of renewable energy consumption in the energy mix to at least 27 %;
  • make at least 27 % energy efficiency savings (and possibly by 30 %, target to be reviewed in 2020);
  • complete the internal energy market and to push ahead with infrastructure projects.

The Energy Community is an international organisation dealing with energy policy. The organisation was established by an international treaty in October 2005 in Athens, Greece. The Treaty entered into force in July 2006, bringing together the EU on one hand, and countries from south-east Europe and the Black Sea region on the other. Moldova became a full-fledged member as of 1 May 2010, while Ukraine acceded to the Energy Community on 1 February 2011 and Georgia on 1 July 2017. As a result of their status as Energy Community members, these ENP-East countries submit the five IEA/Eurostat joint questionnaires on energy statistics on an annual basis and their data are published on Eurobase, alongside that for the EU Member States. Armenia has been an observer to the Energy Community since October 2011, and Belarus applied for observer status in October 2016.

On 18 November 2015, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission jointly presented a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (SWD(2015) 500 final) which underlined a new approach for the EU in relation to its eastern and southern neighbours, based on stabilising the region in political, economic, and security-related terms.

In cooperation with its ENP partners, Eurostat has the responsibility ‘to promote and implement the use of European and internationally recognised standards and methodology for the production of statistics necessary for developing and monitoring policy achievements in all policy areas’. Eurostat undertakes the task of coordinating EU efforts to increase the statistical capacity of the ENP countries. Additional information on the policy context of the ENP is provided here.

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