EU Science Hub

State of the Energy Union: Europe's energy transition on track

Feb 03 2017

In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, on 1 February 2017 the European Commission published its second State of the Energy Union Report. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is well on track to reach its 2020 targets.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has supported with scientific evidence the development of several reports accompanying the second State of the Energy Union Package.  

In particular, the JRC has provided substantial scientific input and evidence on the key indicators monitoring progress towards the Energy Union objectives under the Research & Innovation (R&I) dimension (public and private investments in the Energy Union R&I priorities; trends in patents on the Energy Union R&I priorities) as well as on energy efficiency. On the latter, a decomposition analysis performed by the JRC has examined the impact of different drivers in historical trends in primary energy consumption at the EU level over the last decade (2005-2014) and provided a sound indication on the energy efficiency improvements that have been realised, with public policy as a key driver.

Cyber-security and privacy of smart-metering systems

The Communication on the second State of the Energy Union emphasizes the increasing digitalisation of the energy sector, its potential exposure to cyber-attacks and the consequent need for strong data protection rules. In this respect, the JRC has provided the first Best Available Technique Reference document on cyber-security and privacy of smart-metering systems, endorsed by all sector stakeholders and by the European Commission Smart-Grid Task Force.

In addition, the JRC is also participating in the European Commission Energy Expert Cyber Security Platform which is analysing the specific cybersecurity needs of the energy sector, in order to implement the Directive (EU) 2016/1148 – Network and Information Security (NIS) and to promote synergies between the Energy Union and the Digital Single Market.