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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A steady decline in energy consumption in the period from 2000 to 2014 has lowered EU final energy consumption from 1133 Mtoe in 2000 to 1061 Mtoe in 2014, according to a JRC report. This puts the consumption below the indicative targets for 2020, set to 1086 Mtoe by the European Energy Efficiency Directive. The saving achieved is equivalent to the whole energy consumption of Finland in 2014.
The report presents the status of energy consumption trends in the four main energy consuming sectors in the EU: residential, tertiary (services), transport and industry over the period 2000-2014. The breakdown into sectors shows that the largest decline of final energy consumption has been registered in the industry (-17.62%), followed by a remarkable decrease (-9.52%) in the residential sector, while the transport sector has seen a slight increase (+2.21%) surpassed by services which have marked an energy consumption hike of 16.48%. The increasing trend in the tertiary sector is expected to continue as Europe moves to a more service-based industry.
According to the report, transport accounted for 33.22% of total final energy consumption in 2014, confirming transportation as the main energy consumer. Its final energy consumption in the EU-28 has grown from 344.9 Mtoe to 352.5 Mtoe. A decreasing trend, registered from 2007 to 2013, has been reversed in 2014 with a 1.4% growth due to recovering economies.
Road transport, especially passenger cars, represents the main consuming transport subsector. Its energy consumption has increased by 2%; other two subsectors which have registered a rise in their consumption in comparison to 2000 are pipeline transport (+ 192.4%) and international aviation (+ 14.8%). The results show that biofuels (especially biodiesels) have developed at a rapid pace from 2000 to 2014, and their contribution in the energy mix has increased by 3.8% (13.4 Mtoe), reaching a 4.01% share in 2014.
For buildings, the energy demand depends not only on weather and climate conditions but also on other factors such as building characteristics (i.e. building envelope, insulation level, location, heating/cooling systems etc.) as well as economic, social and cultural reasons (disposable income, lifestyle, habits, etc.). Major domestic appliances were also part of the study. JRC's market analysis shows that the purchase and use of more efficient energy-related products are to a certain extent defining the energy consumption in buildings, hence the 9.5% decline between 2000 and 2014.
Final energy consumption in European industries has been falling since 2008. Reduced production of iron and steel – the highest energy consumption manufacturing subsector – has led to a 24% drop of the final energy consumption during the period 2000-2014. The financial and economic crisis has further affected the production.
This report supports the EU legislative framework that relates to energy efficiency: the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Eco-design Directive, the Energy Labelling Directive, the Directives establishing an Emissions Trading Scheme in the European Union; the Effort Sharing Decision, the Renewable Energy Directive, the Industrial Emissions Directive, and the Regulation on CO2 emissions of new passenger cars.
It analysed the EU energy consumption patterns and included an energy efficiency analysis of energy-related products in the framework of the EU energy consumption targets. This analysis was carried out through a market assessment of major domestic appliances, motors, cars, etc, in order to provide indications of the impact and effectiveness of policies on energy efficiency in the EU.