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Since 2000, the EU28 final energy intensity has decreased by 16% at an annual average rate of 2%/year. Since 2005, final energy intensity decreased by 11.9% at an annual rate of 1.8%/year, showing an absolute decoupling, between economic growth and final energy consumption. Since 2005, final energy intensity in industry, services and agriculture sectors decreased by 2.5%/year, 2.0%/year and 1.8%/year, respectively. In the transport sector the final energy intensity has decreased by 1.5%/year since 2005. In the household sector the final energy intensity decreased by 1.1%/year since 2005. Since 2000, the final energy intensity in non-EU EEA countries has decreased by 14% at an annual average rate of 2%/year. The annual decrease is slightly smaller than in the EU-28 due to an increase of the industry energy intensity in Turkey and Iceland.
Between 1990 and 2012 the efficiency of electricity and heat production in public conventional thermal power plants in the EU28 improved from 42.2% in 1990 to 47.6% in 2012. In the non-EU EEA countries, this efficiency improved from 34.4% in 1990 to 42.1% in 2012. Between 2005 and 2012, the efficiency in public conventional thermal power plants stabilized more or less in both the EU28 and the non-EU EEA countries. An efficiency improvement in the EU28 of about 2 percentage points between 2005 and 2010 is attributed to an increased use of natural gas. Between 2010 an 2012 the efficiency in the EU28 dropped by the same amount, due to increased use of coal in stead of gas in combination with the use of existing, low efficiency coal plants.
The efficiency of electricity and heat production from autoproducers conventional thermal power plants in the EU and non-EU EEA countries decreased between 2005 and 2012 by about 5 percentage points, from about 60% in 2005 to about 55% in 2012.
River and coastal flooding have affected millions of people in Europe in the last decade. They affect human health through drowning, heart attacks, injuries, infections, exposure to chemical hazards, psychosocial consequences as well as disruption of services, including health services.
Observed increases in heavy precipitation and extreme coastal high-water events have increased the risk of river and coastal flooding in many European regions.
In the absence of additional adaptation, the projected increases in extreme precipitation events and in sea level would substantially increase the health risks associated with river and coastal flooding in Europe.
Over the period 1990-2012, final energy efficiency increased by 25% in EU28 countries at an annual average rate of 1.3%/year, driven by improvements in the industrial sector (1.7%/year) and households (1.5%/year). Half of the efficiency gains achieved through technological innovation in the household sector have been offset by increasing number of electrical appliances and larger homes. One third of total savings in space heating in the residential sector is due to new building codes, since a building built in 2012 consumed approximately 40% less energy than one built in 1990.
Energy Trends in Europe
In 2012, the final energy consumption reached 1,104 Mtoe at EU-level (see also ENER 16). Buildings (households and services) consumed almost 40% of final energy consumption in 2012 (of which 26% for households), transport 32% (+6 points compared to 1990) followed by industry with 26% (-8 points compared to 1990) and agriculture with 2%.
The EU28 is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, which accounted in 2012 for 74.6% of the total gross inland energy consumption compared to renewables at only 11%. The share of fossil fuels (gas, solid fuels and oil)  in the total gross inland energy consumption of the EU28 declined from 83.0% in 1990 to 74.6% in 2012. at an annual rate of 0.3 % per year. Between 2005 and 2012, the share of fossil fuels in gross inland energy consumption decreased slightly faster at 0.6 % per year.
The EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels from non-EU countries remained relatively stable between 2005 and 2012. In 2012, EU28 net import of fossil fuels was 53.4% of its total gross inland energy consumption with 58.2% for oil, 28.3% for gas and 13.6% for solid fuels.
In 2012 only 71.4% of the total gross inland energy consumption in the EU28 reached the end users. Between 1990 and 2012, energy losses in transformation and distribution were about 29% of total gross inland energy consumption and did not show a significant trend.
The average efficiency of electricity and heat production of conventional thermal power stations and district heating plants in the EU28 improved over the period 1990 and 2012 by 4.8 percentage points to reach 49.4% in 2012. The main increase was seen between 1990 and 2010 with an increase of 6.3 percentage points (from 44.6% in 1990 to 50.9% in 2010). The improvement before 2010 was due to the closure of old inefficient plants, improvements in existing technologies, often combined with a switch from coal power plants to more efficient combined cycle gas turbines. Between 2010 and 2012, there was a slight fall in the efficiency of electricity and heat production from conventional thermal power plants and district heating plants of 1.5 percentage points (from 50.9% in 2010 to 49.4% in 2012) because of increased power production from coal and lignite and due to lower heat production.
 Definitions are provided in the meta data.
Primary energy consumption in EU 28 in 2012 was almost the same as in 1990 and amounted to 1585 Mtoe. Between 2005-2012, primary energy consumption in the EU28 decreased by 7.3% particularly due to the economic recession and energy efficiency improvements.
Primary energy consumption in the non-EU EEA countries doubled from 71 Mtoe in 1990 to 146 Mtoe in 2012. The main reason for the difference in the trend for this group of countries was the large increase in primary energy consumption in Turkey and, to a lesser extent, in Norway.
Fossil fuels (including non-renewable waste) continued to dominate primary energy consumption in EU28, but their share declined from 82.1% in 1990 to 73.9% in 2012. The share of renewable energy sources more than doubled over the period, from 4.5% in 1990 to 11.6% in 2012, increasing at an average annual rate of 4.4%/year. The share of nuclear energy in gross inland energy consumption increased slightly from 13.1% in 1990 to 14.4% in 2012.
Over the period 1990 and 2012 final energy consumption in EU28 increased by 2.3% (6.5% in EEA countries). Between 2005 and 2012 the final energy consumption in the EU28 decreased by 7.1% (5.0% in EEA countries). The services sector is the only sector where the energy consumption increased by 3.5% over the period 2005-2012. B etween 2005 and 2012, t he energy consumption dropped by 14% in industry, 5.1% in transport and 4% in households. The implementation of energy efficiency policies and the economic recession played an important part in the reduction of energy consumption. On average, each person in the EEA countries used 2.1 tonnes of oil equivalent to meet their energy needs in 2012.
Fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity mix in 2012, being responsible for almost one half (48%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU28. Nuclear energy sources came second, contributing more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2012 (27%). However, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is in rapid progression and reached almost one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU28 in 2012 (24%), having doubled its share since 1990 (see ENER30 for information on renewable electricity consumption).
Final electricity consumption  increased by 29% in the EU28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.2% per year (see ENER16 ). In the EU28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (3.0%/year), followed by households (1.4%/year) and industry (0.9%/year). In non-EU EEA countries, the growth in electricity consumption was larger and reached 3.6%/year, driven by the rapid growth in Turkey.
 Final electricity consumption covers the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports.
Passenger transport demand in the EU-28 decreased by nearly 1.5 % between 2011 and 2012, following a slight downward trend since its peak in 2009, broken only by a 1 % increase in 2011. Car passenger travel remains the dominant mode, with a share well above 70 %. Air transport grew by 10 % in 2011, but stabilised in 2012. However, it retained its pre-crisis modal share (9 %). Rail passengers’ share has grown slightly in recent years, and accounted for 7 % in 2012, after the slight increase in the last two years (2011 and 2012).
Land passenger transport demand in non-EU-28 countries kept growing overall in 2012, with a 1.7 % growth in Iceland, and 1.5 % in Switzerland. Norwegian land transport demand figures remain stable, with car and rail demand growth (1.3 % and 3.6 % respectively) offsetting a 20.2 % loss in rail. The quick deterioration of rail passenger transport in Turkey (-22 % in 2012) was accompanied by a significant increase (6.2 % in 2012) in total land transport demand, sustained by a 10.5 % growth in car travel. It is worth noting that, according to Eurocontrol (Eurocontrol, 2014), Turkey is also the main driver of air passenger traffic growth in the European skies.
Freight transport volumes in the EU‑28 decreased by 2 % between 2011 and 2012, mainly due to a 3 % reduction in road freight transport (with Italy leading the road drop by 13.8 % compared to its 2011 figure). Rail transport also decreased by 4 % between 2011 and 2012, whereas IWW transport increased by 6 %. Maritime and air transport did not vary significantly. Overall, total freight transport volumes in the EU‑28 are now 10 % below the peak volumes experienced in 2007. The modal share remains constant; road transport dominates land freight transport at 75 %, followed by rail (18 %) and IWW (7 %).
Switzerland experienced a decrease of 4 % in road and rail transport, whereas Norway and Turkey’s overall land freight transport increased (by 4 % and 6 % respectively), and Iceland’s demand remained roughly constant between 2011 and 2012.
Road traffic is, by far, the major source of traffic noise in Europe both inside and outside agglomerations. It should be also highlighted that significant numbers of people remain exposed to high levels of noise from rail and aircraft.
In the largest European cities, over 250 thousand inhabitants, noise from road transport is a major concern, as in 2007 almost 67 million people were exposed to long-term average road traffic noise levels exceeding 55dB L den (weighted average day, evening, night). At night time, for the same reported cities, more than 45 million people were exposed to road noise levels higher than 50dB. Concerning noise from major roads outside agglomerations, 33 million were affected during daytime and 23 million at night periods.
When available data allows for comparison between 2007 and 2012, different patterns have been observed: there has been a general increase of people exposed to all noise bands from airports, a slight increase of people exposed to noise from roads (only people exposed to lower noise bands), and a slight decrease of people exposed to noise from railways. Nevertheless, for 2012 reference year, information on strategic noise maps is missing for 12 out of 33 EEA member countries.
The latest year’s available data show a continuation of the general trend for decreases in air pollutant emissions from transport: all transport-derived pollutants decreased between 2011 and 2012 (by 6 % in the case of NO x , 7 % for SO x , and by 6 % and 7 % in the case of PM 10 and PM 2.5 , respectively). The latest data show that non-exhaust emissions are 46 % of the exhaust emissions of primary PM 10 in 2012, and 31 % of the exhaust emissions of primary PM 2.5 .
Aviation is the only subsector where emissions have increased in the last year available, by 7 % for NH 3 and by 9 % for SO x emissions. Aviation and shipping are the two sectors where increases in activity since 1990 have offset reductions elsewhere, in particular for SO x but also for NO x and PM. Road transport and aviation have also increased NH 3 emissions significantly over the last two decades, but while road transport has recently reduced its emissions, aviation has not yet been able to do so.
In general terms, the transport sector achieved important reductions in the period 1990 through 2012: reductions in CO and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) (both 81 %), but also in NO x (33 %), SO x (26 %) and particulates (by 23 % in the case of PM 2.5 and by 18 % for PM 10 ).
The latest EEA preliminary estimations shows that transport emissions fell by 3.3 % in 2012, following the reduction trend seen from 2008. In 2012, transport (including shipping and aviation) contributed 24.3 % of the total of GHG emissions in the EU-28. Transport emissions (including aviation) in 2012 were 20.5 % above 1990 levels, despite a decline between 2008 and 2012. Emissions will, therefore, need to fall by 67 % by 2050 in order to meet the Transport White Paper target. International aviation experienced the largest percentage increase in GHG emissions from 1990 levels (+ 93 %), followed by international shipping (+ 32 %).
Emissions from international shipping declined between 2008 and 2012. GHG emissions from international aviation also declined, by 1.3 %, in 2012.
Outside the EU-28, in the last year available (between 2011 and 2012), values were generally stable.
This indicator factsheet is based on data for the period 1990 to 2012. Between 1990 and 2007, annual transport energy consumption in the EEA member countries grew by 38%. However following this year, this trend reversed. Between 2007 and 2012, total energy demand in the EEA-33 transport sector declined by 10.6 %. This is shown in Figure 1 below. Total transport energy consumption for the EEA-33 has increased by 24.4% between 1990 and 2012. Latest estimates suggest that the downward trend in transport energy consumption has continued through 2013, with a further 1% drop in energy consumption.
The shipping sector saw the greatest decline in energy consumption during the recession; bunkers dropped by 10% between 2008 and 2009 alone, with a total decrease of 15% between 2007 and 2012. Energy use for road, aviation and rail transport fell by around 9% over the 2007 to 2012 time period.
Road transport accounts for the largest amount of energy consumption, accounting for 73% of total demand in 2012. Despite a decrease in energy consumption since the recession, total road transport energy consumption in 2012 was still almost 22% higher in the EEA-33 than in 1990. The fraction of road transport fuel that is diesel has continued to increase and in 2012 it amounted to 70%.
In 2012, the share of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption  in the EU28 was 24.1%. Hydropower accounted for 11% of all electricity generation in 2012, followed by wind (6%), biomass and wastes (3%), solar power (2%), and geothermal and other renewables (2%). Overall, renewable electricity grew at an annual average rate of 4.1% since 1990, and slightly faster (7.1%/year) since 2005.
The EU28 has met its indicative 21% target for renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption by 2010, as specified in the Renewable Electricity Directive (2001/77/EC). At Member State level, 14 EU-countries met their indicative national renewable electricity targets under that Directive.
From 2012, the Renewable Electricity Directive has been repealed by the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), which establishes binding targets for Member States to meet a certain share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020 (see ENER 28 ).
 Gross (national) electricity consumption includes the total gross national electricity generation from all fuels (including auto-production), plus electricity imports, minus exports. Auto-production is defined as a natural or legal person generating electricity essentially for his/her own use. Gross electricity generation is measured at the outlet of the main transformers, i.e. it includes consumption in the plant auxiliaries and in transformers.
The share of renewable energy sources in gross inland energy consumption (GIEC) increased in the EU28 from 4.3% in 1990 to 11.0% in 2012  . In 2012, the main contributors to the gross inland consumption of renewable energy were biomass and renewable waste (58%), followed by hydro (16%), wind (10%) and liquid biofuels (9%). The gross inland energy consumption from renewable sources increased at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the period 1990-2012, with a faster growth rate observed since 2005 (6.7%/year). In non-EU EEA countries  the share of renewable in gross inland energy consumption reached 20% in 2012.
 GIEC represents the total quantity of energy necessary to satisfy inland consumption of the geographic entity under consideration. Please note that the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (GFEC) is presented in another indicator (see ENER28 ). In contrast to GIEC, GFEC excludes transformation losses in the energy sector.
 Non-EU EEA countries are Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Data for Lichtenstein and Switzerland (for 2012) are missing, hence totals for the non-EU EEA exclude Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
The extent and volume of the Arctic Sea ice has declined rapidly since global data became available in 1980, especially in summer. Record low sea ice cover in September 2007, 2011 and 2012 was roughly half the size of the normal minimum extent in the 1980s. September ice cover has somewhat recovered in 2013 and 2014 but it was still well below the average for 1981-2010.
Over the period 1979–2014, the Arctic has lost on average 42 000 km 2 of sea ice per year in winter and 91 000 km 2 per year at the end of summer. The decline in summer sea ice appears to have accelerated since 1999.
The maximum sea ice extent in the Baltic Sea has been decreasing most of the time since about 1800. The decrease appears to have accelerated since the 1980s but the large interannual variability prohibits a clear assessment as to whether this increase is statistically significant.
Arctic Sea ice is projected to continue to shrink and thin all year round. For high greenhouse gas emissions, a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September is likely before mid-century. There will still be substantial ice in winter.
Baltic Sea ice, in particular the extent of the maximal cover, is projected to continue to shrink.
Between 1990 and 2012, energy intensity (the ratio of gross inland energy consumption and GDP) in the EU28 decreased by 1.7% per year. In 2012, the energy intensity in the EU28 was 31% below the 1990 level.
During this period, the rate of decrease of energy intensity in the EU28 has been rather constant. The period 1990-2005 is characterised by a relatively high economic growth and a more modest growth of gross inland energy consumption. The period 2005-2012 is characterised by a much smaller economic growth and decreasing gross inland energy consumption. The resulting rate of decrease of energy intensity is rather similar in these periods.
All EEA member countries  show a decrease of energy intensity between 2005 and 2012, except for Greece (annually +2.0%), Iceland (annually +6.4%), Norway (annually +0.4%) and Turkey (annually +1.1%). Largest decreases were observed in Central European countries (e.g. Slovakia, Lithuania and Romania) because of changes in their economic structure.
 The 33 EEA member countries include the 28 European Union Member States together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
In 2012 EU GHG emissions were 19.2 % below 1990 levels (excluding LULUCF and international aviation). Preliminary estimates for 2013 show a further fall of 80 Mt CO2 eq. between 2012 and 2013 (20.7 % below 1990 levels).
Almost all EEA countries are well on track towards achieving its commitments under the first period of the Kyoto Protocol.
EU-15 average emissions between 2008 and 2012 were 11.8 % below base-year levels.
In the EU, emissions covered by the Emission Trading System (ETS) between in 2013 were 19 % below 2005 levels.
In 2013, all EU Member States apart from Germany, Luxembourg and Poland, are considered to be on track to meet their annual targets.
For six Member States, projections indicate that implementing the additional measures which were in planning stage in 2013 might not be sufficient to reduce GHG emissions below targets by 2020 under the Effort Sharing Decision.
Storm location, frequency and intensity show considerable decadal variability across Europe over the past century, such that no long-term trends are apparent.
Recent studies on changes in winter storm tracks generally project an eastward extension of the North Atlantic storm track towards central Europe and the British isles, but this finding is not yet robust.
Climate change simulations show diverging projections on changes in the number of winter storms across Europe. However, almost all studies agree that storm intensities will increase in the future for the North Atlantic, northern, northwestern and central Europe.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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