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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Final electricity consumption by sector / Final electricity consumption by sector (ENER 018) - Assessment published Sep 2010

Final electricity consumption by sector (ENER 018) - Assessment published Sep 2010

This content has been archived on 06 Nov 2013, reason: Other (Not currently being regularly updated)
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Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
electricity | energy | consumption
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 018
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2007
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is electricity consumption decreasing in Europe?

Key messages

Final electricity consumption increased rapidly in most economic sectors at an average annual growth of around 1.7% per year over the period 1990-2007. Across the whole period, final electricity consumption grew by 32.8 %. The strongest growth was observed in the service sector (59.1 %), followed by households (37.2 %), industry (17.5 %) and the transport sector (14.3 %). The observed increase is the consequence of both the attractiveness of electricity as an energy carrier and economic growth.

Final electricity consumption by sector, EU-27

Note: Final electricity consumption by sector, EU-27

Data source:

Eurostat. Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_105a&lang=en

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Average annual growth rate in electricity consumption by sector, 1990-2007 and 2006-2007, EU-27

Note: Average annual growth rate in electricity consumption by sector, 1990-2007 and 2006-2007, EU-27

Data source:

Eurostat. Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_105a&lang=en

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Key assessment

  • Between 1990 and 2007, total electricity consumption increased by 32.8 %. The average annual growth rate of final electricity consumption across the EU-27 was 1.7 % in this period. The share of electricity in final energy consumption also rose from 17.2 % in 1990 to 21.2 % in 2007. Electricity is an attractive energy carrier due to its flexibility of use and the importance placed by consumers on the variety of energy services it provides. Furthermore, influenced by the liberalisation of the power market, electricity prices decreased during the 1990s but they have started to rise again in the last few years (see ENER31 and Figure 1).
  • In non-EU EEA countries, total electricity consumption increased by 71.2 % between 1990 and 2007. The average annual growth rate of final electricity consumption across these countries was 3.2 %, considerably larger than in the EU-27. This high rate was mainly caused by Turkey, with an average annual growth rate of 7.5 % due to the rapid transition to a modernised economy with the associated increase in electricity.

Specific policy question: Is electricity consumption decreasing in the European service (including agriculture) sector?

Specific assessment

  • Since 1990, in the EU-27 the electricity consumption increased in the service sector (including agriculture) at an annual growth rate of 2.8 %. In total, the electricity consumption increased by 59 % between 1990 and 2007. The main reasons for increased electricity consumption in the service sector were the sustained growth of this sector throughout the EU, the increased use of electrical appliances (such as air conditioning, lighting or IT equipment) and the penetration of new electrical devices (see Figure 2). Because small and medium sized enterprises dominate the service sector and in general the European economic landscape (99% of businesses are SMEs in Europe), it is important to look at their energy consumption patterns. In 2007, only 4% of SMEs had in place comprehensive mechanisms for energy efficiency and only 30% of SMEs were applying basic energy conservation measures (2007 SME Observatory). In non-EU EEA countries, electricity consumption in the service sector more than doubled in this period, with a total growth of 105.4 %, and an annual growth rate of 4.3 %. The strongest growth was observed in Turkey, where total electricity use more than quadrupled in this period, with an average annual growth rate of 10.4 % (see  Figure 2).

Specific policy question: Is electricity consumption decreasing in the European household sector?

Specific assessment

  • Between 1990 and 2007, the electricity consumption in the household sector in EU-27 grew by 37.2 %, at an average annual rate of 1.9 %. This trend can be explained by rising incomes, higher living standards, a shift towards smaller households and larger dwellings and a growing demand for electrical appliances. In 2007 total household final electricity consumption was 801 TWh (representing 28.1 % of final energy consumption across a total of almost 200 million households in the EU-27). In non-EU EEA countries, electricity consumption in the household sector grew by 68.4 % in this period, an average annual growth rate of 3.1 %. Improvements in efficiency of large electrical appliances (leading to a decrease in average specific consumption of 1.5 % per year in the case of refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and dryers) were to a large extent offset by the use, numbers and size of large appliances as well as a growing number of smaller appliances such as videos and computers (Enerdata et al, 2003). In 2007 a declining trend can be observed, the households electricity consumption was reduced by 0.6 % compared to 2006. Sweden (-4.5 %), the United Kingdom (-1.2 %) and Germany (-1.0 %) are the main contributors to this overall decrease, which resulted from a combination of mild winter weather and high electricity prices (see Figure 2).

Specific policy question: Is electricity consumption decreasing in the European industrial sector?

Specific assessment

  • Between 1990 and 2007, the electricity consumption in the industry sector grew by 40.4 % in the EU-27, at an average annual rate of 0.95 %, hence slower than the services and household sectors. Industry electricity consumption in the New Member States fell sharply during the early 1990s during the process of economic restructuring. Over the period 1990-2007, in these countries final electricity consumption in industry decreased on average by 1.7%. However, between 2006 and 2007, final electricity consumption in industry actually increased in all New Member States, except Romania where there was a steep decrease of 5.9%, despite economic growth. There is a significant variation between the EU-27 member states. For example, in Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria between 1990 and 2007 the average annual consumption in the industrial sector decreased by almost 3.5 %, while in Ireland it increased by almost 4 % during the same period (see Figure 2). In non-EU EEA countries, electricity consumption in the industry sector increased by 58.2 %, an average annual growth rate of 2.7 %.

Specific policy question: Is electricity consumption increasing in the European transport sector?

Specific assessment

  • The transport sector is only responsible for around 2.5 % of total electricity consumption in EU-27. Between 1990 and 2007, final electricity consumption in this sector grew by 14.3 %, at an average annual rate of 1.7 %. This increase can mainly be attributed to growing consumption in the EU-15, due to increased electrification of Europe’s railways (especially in France and the United Kingdom). The trend for the new Member States was opposite to that of EU-15. Due to lower usage of trains and other domestic public transport and an increase in road and air transport, a gradual decrease in electricity consumed for transport purposes was observed in the new Member states (average annual decrease between 1990 and 2007 of 3 %). However, the electricity consumption for transportation in these countries increased by 4.5 % in 2006-2007. Between 2006 and 2007, the final electricity consumption in transport increased by 1.2% across the EU-27 countries, with the strongest growth observed in Greece (15.7 %) and Slovakia (11.2 %) (see Figure 2). In the non-EU EEA countries, electricity consumption in the transport sector increased by 43.5 % from 1990-2007, an annual growth rate of 2.1 %.

Specific policy question: What are the key differences among European countries as well as between European countries and other countries and regions in the world?

Average annual percentage change in final electricity consumption, EU-27 1990-2007

Note: Average annual percentage change in final electricity consumption, EU-27 1990-2007

Data source:

Eurostat. Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_105a&lang=en

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Electricity consumption per capita (in kWh/cap) in 2007

Note: Electricity consumption per capita (in kWh/cap) in 2007

Data source:

Eurostat. Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_105a&lang=en

IEA. World, Electricity/Heat Supply and Consumption. http://data.iea.org/IEASTORE/DEFAULT.ASP

Eurostat. Population by sex and age on 1. January of each year. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/population/data/database

 

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Specific assessment

  • Most countries in the EU-27 experienced an overall increase in electricity consumption over the period from 1990 to 2007, except for Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria and Estonia. During this period, the average annual growth rate of electricity consumption varied greatly by country, ranging from less than 1 % per year in Sweden, Hungary and Slovakia to over 4 % in Spain, Portugal, Malta, Ireland and Cyprus. The decrease or low growth in electricity consumption in the new Member States was a combined result of economic restructuring in the 1990s and a decrease or low growth of the total population in those countries (see Figure 3).
  • Electricity consumption per capita also varies greatly between countries, with the lowest per capita consumption occurring in some new Member States, including Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Although the use of air conditioning in southern European countries contributes to a large increase in electricity consumption during the summer months, the highest consumption per capita was in the northern-most countries, (Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland), where electrical heating based on low-cost electricity produced by hydropower meets a large part of the overall heating requirements (see Figure 4).
  • The average electricity use per capita in the EU-27 is almost 2.3 times the global average and 2.8 times that of China. Only Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland are using more electricity per capita than in the United States. The rest of the EU-27 is well below the US (see Figure 4).

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anca-Diana Barbu

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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