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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.
This report discusses the progress towards the 2020 Energy Efficiency targets and the implementation of the provisions of the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU (EED), providing an overview of the main energy trends in the European Union with special focus on the period 2005-2018. It is based on the latest available EUROSTAT data and on the information provided by Member States in their Annual Reports 2020 submitted under the EED. Our analysis has shown that 2015 was a turning point for the progress towards the energy efficiency targets due to a reversal in the preceding 5-year declining consumption trend of 2010-2014. Final energy consumption increased mildly in 2015 and continued to rise in 2016, 2017 and 2018; the latest increase in 2018 point to a gap of 3.5% with respect to the EU final energy consumption target of 2020. Primary energy consumption decreased slightly in 2018 leading to a gap of 4.6% with respect to EU 2020 target. At end-use level, rising energy consumption in transport and industry were the main causes of this progress slowdown. The assessment of the 2020Annual Reports generally confirmed good progress with regards to implementation of various provisions the Energy Efficiency Directive including those stipulated in Article 7 on energy efficiency obligations. While a few Member States reported new measures which can be viewed positively in light of the need to narrow the gap towards the targets, more intensified policy efforts are needed. Beyond the various information gaps identified by this report, our analysis suggests that achieving central government requirements on energy efficiency may be challenging and accelerated efforts across all sectors are crucial in ensuring that sufficient progress is made in the coming years.