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Shedding light on energy in the EU

2023 interactive publication


Lighting, heating, moving, producing: energy is vital for our day-to-day life.

Without energy, people and businesses cannot function. Turning on our computers or starting our cars are actions that we take for granted, yet they represent the final stage of a complex process.

This publication helps to make the complex process of energy more understandable. It replies to the needs of those who are not familiar with the energy sector as well as more experienced users.



Energy sources

This section focuses on the different energy sources available in the EU, the energy produced in the EU as well as the energy imported.


Energy sources
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Largest share in energy production

41% of energy produced in the EU in 2021 came from renewables


Energy mix

The energy available in the European Union (EU) comes from energy produced in the EU and from energy imported from third countries. Therefore, in order to get a good overview of the total energy available in the EU, energy production should always be put in context with imports.

In 2021, the EU produced around 44% of its own energy, while 56% was imported.

Petroleum products have the largest share in the EU energy mix

In 2021, the energy mix in the EU, meaning the range of energy sources available, mainly consisted of five different sources: crude oil and petroleum products (34%), natural gas (23%), renewable energy (17%), nuclear energy (13%) and solid fossil fuels (12%).

The shares of the different energy sources in the gross available energy vary considerably between Member States. In 2021, the share of petroleum products in available energy was highest in Cyprus (86%), Malta (85%) and Luxembourg (61%), while natural gas was a significant energy source in Italy (40%), the Netherlands (35%) and in Hungary (34%). Renewables had the largest share in Sweden (48%) and Denmark (41%), while nuclear energy accounted for 41% of energy available in France and 25% in Sweden. The share of solid fossil fuels was highest in Estonia (56%) and Poland (43%).


EU energy production

The production of energy in the EU is spread across a range of different energy sources: solid fuels, natural gas, crude oil, nuclear energy and renewable energy (such as hydro, wind and solar energy).

Renewable energies account for the highest share in energy production

Renewable energy (41% of total EU energy production) was the largest contributing source to primary energy production in the EU in 2021. Nuclear energy (31%) was the second largest source, followed by solid fuels (18%), natural gas (6%) and crude oil (3%).

However, the production of energy is very different from one Member State to another. In 2021, renewable energy was the exclusive source of primary production in Malta (in other words, this country did not produce any other type of energy) and represented the main source in a number of Member States, with shares of over 95% in Latvia, Portugal and Cyprus. The significance of nuclear energy was particularly high in France (76% of total national energy production), Belgium (70%) and Slovakia (60%). Solid fuels were the main source of energy produced in Poland (72%), Estonia (56%) and Czechia (45%). Natural gas had the largest share in the Netherlands (58%) and Ireland (42%), while the share of crude oil was largest in Denmark (35%).


Energy imports and dependency

For its own consumption, the EU also needs energy that is imported from third countries. In 2021, the main imported energy product was petroleum products (including crude oil, which is the main component), accounting for almost two thirds of energy imports into the EU (64%), followed by natural gas (25%) and solid fossil fuels (6%).

Russia main EU supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels in 2021

In 2021, more than half of the extra-EU crude oil imports came from five origins: Russia (28%), the United States and Norway (9% each), Libya and Kazakhstan (6% each). A similar analysis shows that nearly three quarters of the EU's imports of natural gas came from Russia (44%), Norway (16%) and Algeria (12%), while more than half of solid fossil fuel (mostly coal) imports originated from Russia (52%), followed by Australia (17%) and the United States (15%).

Due to the EU sanctions imposed as a consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in 2022, this situation is subject to constant change. The latest developments can be monitored via Eurostat’s monthly data.

Different patterns among the EU Member States

In 2021, more than 85% of energy imports were petroleum products in Cyprus and Malta, and a third or more was natural gas in Italy and Hungary. The share of solid fuel imports was highest in Slovakia (17%) and Czechia (15%).

You can discover the main trading partners of your country and see the different trade flows using the interactive visualisation tool on energy trade.

EU dependency rate on the fall since 2019

The dependency rate shows the extent to which an economy relies upon imports in order to meet its energy needs. It is measured by the share of net imports (imports minus exports) in gross inland energy consumption (meaning the sum of energy produced and net imports).

In the EU in 2021, the import dependency rate was equal to 56%, which means that over half of the EU’s energy needs were met by net imports. However, the dependency rate varied across the Member States, ranging from 90% or over in Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus to around 1% in Estonia.


Energy consumption

This section presents the different types of energy consumed, electricity and energy prices, and outlines the energy flows from production to final consumption.


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Largest energy consumer

29% of energy in the EU is consumed by the transport sector

energy-ch5-types -energy-consumed-2023

Types of energy consumed

Out of the total energy available in the EU, around two thirds is consumed by end users (final energy consumption), for example EU citizens, industry, transport etc. The difference – around one third – is mainly lost during electricity generation and distribution, used to support energy production processes or in non-energy uses (like asphalt or bitumen).

Petroleum products are the most consumed

In the EU in 2021, petroleum products (such as heating oil, petrol, diesel fuel), which represent 35% of final energy consumption, were the most consumed. Electricity and gas (natural and manufactured gas) ranked second with 23% each, followed by direct use of renewables (not transformed into electricity, for example wood, solar thermal, geothermal or biogas for space heating or hot water production) (12%), derived heat (such as district heating) (5%) and solid fossil fuels (mostly coal) (3%). The real consumption of renewable energy is higher than 12% because other renewable sources, such as hydropower, wind power or solar photovoltaic, are included in electricity.

Within the EU Member States, the final energy consumption pattern varies considerably. In 2021, petroleum products made up more than 55% of final energy consumption in Luxembourg and Cyprus. Electricity accounted for over 30% in Malta and Sweden, while gas made up more than 30% in the Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium and Italy. Renewable energies accounted for over 25% of final energy consumption in Finland, Sweden and Latvia.

The transport sector accounts for nearly 30% of final energy consumption in the EU

Energy is consumed by different sectors of the economy: households (energy consumed in citizen’s dwellings), transport (rail, road, domestic aviation or inland shipping), industry, services (including commercial and public services), and agriculture and forestry.

Looking at which sectors in the EU consume the most energy, the transport sector (29% of final energy consumption) consumed the most energy in 2021, followed by households (28%), industry (26%), services (14%), and agriculture and forestry (3%).

From production to final consumption

To properly interpret energy statistics, it is necessary to distinguish between primary and secondary energy products. A primary energy product is extracted or captured directly from natural resources, such as crude oil, firewood, natural gas or coal. This process is called primary production. Secondary energy products (such as electricity or motor gasoline) are produced as a result of a transformation process, either from a primary or from a different secondary energy product. Final consumers can use primary (for example natural gas for heating) or secondary energy products (such as motor gasoline to fill up your car tank).


Electricity production


From source to switch

From source to switch. Electricity matters to all of us. Where does electricity in the EU come from? 42% of the electricity generated in the EU comes from power stations burning or using combustible fuels (gas, oil, coal, biomass). A part of these fuels is produced in the EU and a part is imported from outside the EU. Some of the power stations also produce heat. 25% of the electricity generated in the EU comes from nuclear power stations, 13% of the electricity generated in the EU comes from windmills (renewable sources), 13% from hydropower and 5% from solar power power (renewable sources). Electricity is transmitted from these different sources to transformers near the consumer, and finally to the consumer’s socket. The data refer to the year 2021.


Renewables lead in electricity generation in the EU

Around 24% of the final energy we consume is electricity and it comes from different sources. In 2021 in the EU, renewable energy was the leading source in electricity production (38%), ahead of fossil fuels (36%) and nuclear power plants (25%).

Among renewable sources, the highest share of electricity came from wind turbines and hydropower plants (both 13%), biofuels and solar power (both 6%).

The sources of electricity production vary among the Member States. In 2021 in Denmark, nearly half of electricity production (49%) came from wind energy, while 60% of electricity production in Austria came from hydro power plants. Over 80% of electricity production came from fossil fuels in Malta, Cyprus and Poland, while nearly 70% of electricity production came from nuclear power plants in France, followed by Slovakia and Belgium with around 50% each.


Electricity and gas prices

Electricity prices for households highest in Denmark, Belgium and Germany

In order to compare prices of electricity and gas among the Member States, national prices have been converted into euro. Exchange rate fluctuations can have an effect on prices expressed in euro for non-euro area Member States.

In the first half of 2022, household electricity prices, including taxes and levies, were highest in Denmark (€46 per 100 kWh), Belgium (€34 per 100 kWh) and Germany (€33 per 100 kWh), while the lowest prices were recorded in the Netherlands (€5 per 100 kWh) and Hungary (€9 per 100 kWh).

The share of taxes and levies in the electricity price was largest in Denmark (48%) and Germany (42%), while it was smallest in the Netherlands, where the value was negative (-4%), followed by Latvia and Greece.

Natural gas prices for household consumers, including taxes and levies, were highest in Sweden (€22 per 100 kWh) and Denmark (€16 per 100 kWh), and lowest in Hungary (€3 per 100 kWh) and Croatia (€4 per 100 kWh).

The share of taxes and levies in gas price was highest in the Netherlands (51%), while it was smallest in Latvia, Greece and Bulgaria, where it was negative.

Gas prices for non-household consumers highest in Sweden and Finland

For non-household consumers, electricity prices (excluding VAT and other recoverable taxes and levies) in the first half of 2022 ranged from €30 per 100 kWh in Greece to €8 per 100 kWh in Finland.

Natural gas prices for non-household consumers (excluding VAT and other recoverable taxes and levies) were highest in Sweden and Finland (€14 per 100 kWh each), and lowest in Belgium and Germany (€5 per 100 kWh each).


Energy flows

An energy balance presents energy products (solid fuels, oil and petroleum products, gas, renewable energies, nuclear heat, electricity, etc.) of a country and their production, transformation and consumption by different types of economic actors (industry, transport, etc.). It allows you to see the total amount of energy extracted from the environment, traded, transformed and used by end-users.

Energy balances can be graphically represented through flow diagrams (also called Sankey diagrams), which allow users to visualise the interrelation of energy commodities in a more illustrative and intuitive way. These flows can be combined, split and traced through a series of events or processing stages.

The Sankey energy tool is based on a series of black nodes connected by flows. The nodes represent events or processes (imports, final energy consumption etc.) while the flows in different colours represent energy products. The width of each stream in the flow represents the amount of energy (fuel) in the flow.

Click on the link below to open the tool and build your own diagram!


Energy and environment

This section presents data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy.


© Bits And Splits/Shutterstock.com
Consumption from renewables

22% of energy consumed in the EU in 2021 came from renewables


Greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change is a threat to sustainable development. After years of extensive research, the scientific community agrees that man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the dominant cause of the Earth’s average temperature increases over the past 250 years (IPCC, 2014). Man-made GHG emissions are primarily a by-product of burning of fuels in power plants, cars or homes. Farming and waste decaying in landfills are also sources of GHG emissions.

EU greenhouse gas emissions declined steadily from 2010 until 2014, rose slightly in the period 2015-2017 and dropped again in the period 2018-2020. In 2020 emissions fell by over 10% compared to 2019, the sharpest drop since 1990.

In 2020, EU GHG emissions were over 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent lower than in 1990. This corresponds to a 32% reduction compared with 1990 levels, thus exceeding the EU reduction target of 20% by 2020. The new target for 2030 is a 55% reduction of GHG emissions compared to 1990.

GHG emissions were below 1990 levels in 25 Member States. The largest reductions, over 50%, were recorded in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

Share of most sectors in GHG on decline

In 2020, fuel combustion by users had the highest share (28%) in total greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of the energy producing industries (25%). Compared with 1990, the share decreased for all sectors except transport, where it rose from 15% in 1990 to 23% in 2020, and agriculture, whose share slightly increased from 10% to 11%.


Energy efficiency

One of the priorities of the Energy Union strategy is to increase energy efficiency, mainly by cutting the EU’s overall energy use and managing energy in a more cost-effective way. Improving energy efficiency contributes to achieving energy savings, protecting the environment, mitigating climate change and reducing the EU's reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas.

In concrete terms, using less energy means reducing primary energy consumption, which is the total domestic energy demand, and final energy consumption, which is the energy actually consumed by end users, not including what the energy sector needs itself as well as transformation and distribution losses.

Energy consumption up in 2021

In 2021, primary energy consumption reached 1 309 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). This is a 5.9% increase compared with 2020, when consumption reached its lowest level due to the impact of the pandemic, but still the second-lowest level since 1990 (the first year for which data are available). The 2021 level is 16.1% away from the EU 2030 target (no more than 1 128 Mtoe primary energy consumption).

Final energy consumption also increased significantly in 2021 (to 968 Mtoe, +6.8% compared with 2020) but was still 1.8% lower than in 2019. The 2021 level is 14.4% away from the 2030 target (no more than 846 Mtoe).


Renewable energy


From wind to watts

From wind to watts, statistics on renewable energy. Renewable energies are naturally renewed or replenished by nature. From the very beginning, human beings have used renewable energy for many purposes. We can consume renewable energy directly but we can also buy electricity produced from renewable energy sources. What does renewable energy produced in the EU consist of? 58% of renewable energy consists of burning renewable sources. What are they? Wood, biogas, biogasoline and biodiesel. 14% of renewable energy produced in the EU comes from wind energy, 12% of renewable energy produced in the EU comes from hydro power, 9% of renewable energy produced in the EU comes from geothermal energy and heat pumps (heat from the earth, water or ambient air), 7% of renewable energy produced in the EU comes from solar energy (2021 data). In 2021, renewable energy accounted for 21.8% of our energy consumption, compared with 9.6% in 2004.


The share of renewables in energy consumption at EU level reached 21.8% in 2021, a slight decrease compared with 2020 and the first decrease ever recorded. The lifting of the restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic played a role for this decrease. The current EU target is to reach 32% renewables by 2030.

Sweden had by far the highest share of renewables in consumption (62.6%) in 2021, ahead of Finland (43.1%) and Latvia (42.1%). The lowest proportions of renewables were recorded in Luxembourg (11.7%), Malta (12.2%), the Netherlands (12.3%) and Ireland (12.5%). Differences stem from variations in the endowment with natural resources, mostly in the potential for building hydropower plants and in the availability of biomass.


EU policies

The European Green Deal is the ambitious EU climate policy that aims for Europe to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

In particular, reaching this target will require action by all sectors of our economy, including investing in environmentally-friendly technologies, decarbonising the energy sector, ensuring buildings are more energy efficient or rolling out cleaner forms of private and public transport.


On 11 December 2019 the European Commission announced the European Green Deal to transform the EU into the first climate neutral continent by 2050. The European Commission has been working to achieve a just and inclusive transition, a clean, affordable and secure energy supply, a modernised EU industry, a clean and circular economy, the protection of biodiversity, sustainable, resilient and smart mobility, a fair and healthy food system. The EU’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be a green recovery.


The Energy Union is the main energy policy instrument to deliver the transformations required to decarbonise our energy system. The goal of the Energy Union is to give EU consumers – households and businesses – secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy.

In order to ensure that policies and measures at various levels are coherent, complementary and sufficiently ambitious, the Energy Union adopted a strong governance mechanism, based on integrated national energy and climate plans.

Using reliable high quality data to monitor the policy targets under the European Green Deal and the Energy Union packages will enhance the credibility of EU energy policy.

The State of the Energy Union monitors progress made to bring about the transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy. It also highlights each year the issues where further attention is needed.




About this publication

Shedding light on energy in the EU is an interactive publication released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Information on data

Data in the visualisations are linked directly to the online database up to the reference year mentioned in the title of each visualisation. The accompanying text was finalised during March 2023 and reflects the data situation at that moment in time. The energy interactive tools referred to in the publication are continuously updated.

For more information


If you have questions on the data, please contact Eurostat User Support.

Copyright and re-use policy

This publication should not be considered as representative of the European Commission’s official position.

© European Union, 2023

The reuse policy of European Commission documents is implemented based on Commission Decision 2011/833/EU of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents (OJ L 330, 14.12.2011, p. 39).

Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence. This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated.

For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the European Union, permission may need to be sought directly from the respective rightholders. The European Union does not own the copyright in relation to the following elements:

Cover photo: © Nuttsue / Shutterstock.com
Energy sources: © Bits And Splits / Shutterstock.com
Energy consumption: © Milos Muller / Shutterstock.com
Energy and environment: © Kampan / Shutterstock.com

For more information, please consult our page on copyright notice and free re-use of data.


ISBN 978-92-76-99463-3
ISSN 2600-3368
Catalogue number: KS-FW-23-002-EN-Q

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