EU Science Hub

Energy sector economic analysis

People’s well-being, industrial competitiveness and the overall functioning of society are dependent on safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy. The energy sector, covering extraction, production and distribution directly employs in the EU about 1.6 million people and generates an added €250 billion to the economy, corresponding to 4% of value added of the non-financial EU business economy.

In the framework of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the European Commission has developed energy security of supply and climate change policies and adopted a number of regulatory measures aiming at introducing low-carbon innovative technologies, which will ultimately impact the market structure of the sector. The EU has also endorsed ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets and accompanying targets for the decarbonisation of the energy sectors.

In this complex policy context, the JRC supports relevant Commission services in designing policies to meet those targets. This is done through the analysis of a wide range of impacts of various policy options and of the most appropriate pathways to achieve the energy and climate change objectives in an economically efficient manner. To this end, the JRC develops, maintains, updates and applies a quantitative toolset consisting of models of distinct scopes and levels of details, which are then exploited in impact analysis for the European Commission.

Impact analysis studies

The JRC provides EU policymakers with a consistent set of scenarios and the resulting analysis of possible developments of the energy sectors under a number of distinct assumptions, illustrating a portfolio of policy options. These scenarios can take into account possible contributions of (innovative) low-carbon energy resources and energy conversion schemes, both on the supply and demand sides. Furthermore, specific attention may be needed to some energy-intensive industries.

Modelling and reference data

The JRC develops and manages models to support the energy sector impact assessments and prepare evidence for political decision-makers on the advantages and disadvantages of possible policy options and scenarios.