Final energy consumption - outlook from EEA

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-38-en
Also known as: Outlook 048
expired Created 08 Jan 2007 Published 08 Jun 2007 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 06:59 PM
This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
Despite continuing increases, final energy consumption is expected to decouple significantly in relative terms from GDP over the coming decades, consolidating past improvements in energy intensity. Final energy consumption in the EU-27 is expected to increase by 20% from 2005 to 2030. While during this period only 15 % of increase in final energy consumption is expected in EU 15 (about 48% - in New 12 Member States), EU 15 share of EU 27 final energy consumption is projected to shift insignificantly (from 86% to 83%). Transport has been the fastest-growing sector since 1990 and is projected to stay as the largest consumer of final energy in 2030.
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Key messages

Despite continuing increases, final energy consumption is expected to decouple significantly in relative terms from GDP over the coming decades, consolidating past improvements in energy intensity.

Final energy consumption in the EU-27 is expected to increase by 20% from 2005 to 2030. While during this period only 15 % of increase in final energy consumption is expected in EU 15 (about 48% - in New 12 Member States), EU 15 share of EU 27 final energy consumption is projected to shift insignificantly (from 86% to 83%).

Transport has been the fastest-growing sector since 1990 and is projected to stay as the largest consumer of final energy in 2030.

Are we using less final energy?

Decoupling indicator of final energy consumption, EU 27 (Index 100=2000)

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Final Energy demand by sector - EU27(Baseline Scenario)

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Final Energy demand by sector - EU15 (Baseline Scenario)

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Final Energy demand by sector - NM12 (Baseline Scenario)

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Final energy consumption for transport and stationary purposes (e.g. in industry and households) increases by 20.5% from 2005 to 2030. This is 10 percentage points more than the growth of primary energy demand (which, in addition to final energy, includes losses in electricity generation and other transformation processes as well as energy use for non energy purposes, such as chemical feedstock). The lower percentage increase of total primary energy consumption compared with final energy demand means that there are significant improvements in the transformation efficiency of the EU energy system over the next decades. The replacement of old power stations with more efficient ones is driving this development. Final energy demand grows most in transport, followed by the services sector with robust growth also in industry (especially lighter non-energy intensive industries). By comparison, demand growth is rather low for households and agriculture.

Transport energy demand in 2030 is projected to be 28% higher than in 2005. After having seen very high growth rates in the 1990s, the increase of energy use for transportation decelerates. In the projection period, transport energy demand growth rates decline over time. This reflects the decreasing growth rates over time of both passenger and freight transport activity. In addition, there are fuel efficiency improvements in particular in passenger transport (e.g. private cars). Therefore, energy demand in transport grows less than transport activity (in passenger- and tonnekm). However, the assumption that the car industry would deliver on the CO2 targets for new cars by 2008/09 had to be dropped and therefore fuel efficiency improves somewhat less than expected a few years ago.

Contrary to the past, the projection period displays some significant fuel switching in the transport sector as a result of the implementation of the biofuels Directive. Under baseline conditions the biofuels share in 2010 rises strongly to almost 4% - however, falling somewhat short of the indicative target of 5.75%. Nevertheless, this target would be met in 2015 and the share continues increasing up to 2030 to reach 9.5%. As a consequence, CO2 emissions from transport are expected to grow less than energy use (20% versus 28% from 2005 to 2030).

Energy demand in industry is 20% higher in 2030 compared with 2005. Heavy industries (such as iron and steel) grow slower than lighter less energy intensive ones (e.g. engineering). Energy intensity in industry (energy consumption in industry related to value added) improves therefore by 1.4% per year up to 2030. This shift in the production structure also entails much higher use of electricity in industry (+ 37%). With strong penetration of electricity in industry there is much lower growth of CO2 (+6%) compared with growth of industrial energy consumption (+20%).

Energy demand for services is projected to be 26% higher in 2030 than in 2005, reflecting the increasing share of services in modern economies. This development is driven by increasing demand for electricity (e.g. office equipment). With this strong penetration of electricity in the service sector, there is a stabilisation of CO2 emissions from services compared with the 26% increase of energy demand.

On the contrary, energy demand in agriculture increases least, growing nevertheless by 8% between 2005 and 2030.

Household energy demand is expected to rise by 12% between 2005 and 2030. The increasing number of households (+14% up to 2030), following demographic and lifestyle changes towards smaller household size, is an important factor for this development. On the other hand, there are some saturation effects concerning heating energy demand. The increasing use of electric appliances and air conditioning entail rising electricity demand (+34%). Given this shift towards electricity use by households, CO2 emissions from households remain stable up to 2030 at the present level (compared with a 12% increase in energy demand).

Overall, electricity shows the most important increase in final energy demand (+38% up to 2030). There is also strong growth of heat from CHP and district heating (+17%). Oil demand increases by 12% due to growing transportation fuel demand and despite some replacement by gas and electricity in stationary uses. Natural gas continues to make inroads for heating purposes (+14%).
Solid fuels continue to decline strongly so that their use becomes more and more concentrated in some heavy industries. Final demand of renewables almost double, encompassing both traditional uses, such as wood combustion, but also biofuels in transport and solar water heating. Higher deployment of biofuels is the major driving force for greater renewables penetration in final demand (as distinct from renewables used for power generation, where hydro and wind are established sources with a great potential for further wind penetration).

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Definition: Final energy consumption covers all energy supplied to the final consumer for all energy uses. It is usually disaggregated into the final end-use sectors: industry, transport, households, services and agriculture.

Model used: PRIMES

Ownership: European Environment Agency

Temporal coverage: 1990 - 2030

Geographical coverage: EU 15 : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom; EU 12 : Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. 


Final energy consumption is measured in tonnes of oil equivalent (toe).

Policy context and targets

Context description

The indicator shows the trends in total final energy consumption and the contributions of each end-use sector and each energy type. It can be useful to monitor  perfomances of the wide range of policies at pan-european and national level that attempt to influence energy consumption and energy efficiency, and, therefore, extent of environmental impacts.

Global policy context

The major documents that relate to trends of the energy consumption at the global level were developed and presented during the World Summit on Sustainable Development  in Johannesburg (WSSD,2002) in Agenda 21. WSSD, 2002 aims to achieve a sustainable energy future, including diversified energy sources using cleaner technologies. Moreover, there is a number of sub-negotiations and declarations concerning more sustainable ratio in balance between a global energy supply and consumption of different energy types.

Pan-European context

The recent pan-european policies concerning different aspects of energy consumption and efficiency have been developed under different intenational fora. 

The Committee on Sustainable Energy seeks to reform energy prices and subsidies and ways how to carry out it to meet more sustainable energy production and consumption in the region (UNECE Guidelines).

Kiev Declaration "Environment for Europe"(2003) aims at supporting further efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy to meet environmental objectives.

EU policy context

On 23 January 2008 the European Commission adopted the 'Climate Action and Renewable Energy' package. The Package sets a number of targets for EU member states with the ambition to achieve the goal of limiting the rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times including: GHG reduction of 20% compared to 1990 by 2020. (under a satisfactory global climate agreement this could be scaled up to a 30% reduction); 20% reduction in energy consumption through improved energy efficiency, an increase in renewable energy's share to 20% and a 10% share for sustainably produced biofuels and other renewable fuels in transport. With these goals in mind, each Member State will by June 30th 2010 submit a National Renewable Energy Action Plan to the Commission.

EECCA policy context

The main policy illustrating regional objectives of EECCA countries is EECCA Environmental Strategy. One of the main goals is "to contribute to improving environmental conditions and to implement the WSSD Implementation Plan in EECCA countries" regarding energy issues as well as Kiev Declaration's energy performance tasks.


Structural goals and targets

Global level

  • Implement energy strategies for Sustainable Development, including diversified energy sources using cleaner technologies (WSSD)

Pan-European level

  • Increase the share of renewable meet environmental objectives (Kiev Declaration)

EU level

  • Greater energy recovery from waste (2006 EC Thematic Strategy on Waste)
  • By 2010: 22.1% of electricity and 12% of all energy from renewables (6EAP and Green Paper/Energy)
  • 20% replacment of vehicle fuels with alternative fuels by 2020 (A European partnership for the sustainable hydrogen economy)
  • Diversifying energy supplies, including via new infrastructure (e. g. pipelines) (2006 EC Green Paper on energy)
  • replace 20% oil with substitute fuels by 2020 (EU)
  • Trans-European Energy networks, also beyond EU (2006 EC Green Paper on energy)


  • energy infrastructure improvements for sustainability by 2025 (EECCA Strategy)

Efficiency goals and targets

Pan-European level

EU level

  • 20% savings vis-a-vis business-as-usual 2020 levels (Green paper on energy)
  • "Reduce energy demand", including via labelling for buildings and appliance (EU Sustainable Dev. Strategy, 2001)

EECCA level

  • Repair, modernise and/or decommission obsolete or accident-prone equipment at hydropower facilities (Cooperation Strategy to promote Rational and Efficient Use of Energy Resources in Central Asia)
  • Introduce energy-conservation technologies (EECCA Strategy)

Link to other policy goals and targets

Pan-european level

EU level

EECCA level

  • Improve integration of energy efficiency and environment into energy policies (EECCA Strategy)
  • Remove adverse energy subsidies (EECCA Strategy)
  • Support regional cooperation for energy trade (EECCA Strategy)
  • Incorporate energy efficiency into climate change policies (EECCA Strategy)

Related policy documents


Methodology for indicator calculation

The indicator of the Final energy consumption is produced using the PRIMES model. The model covers the horizon from 1990 to 2030 with 5 years periods. A fundamental assumption in PRIMES is that producers and consumers both respond to changes in prices.

Overview of the PRIMES Model

PRIMES is a partial equilibrium model for the European Union energy system developed by, and maintained at, The National Technical University of Athens, E3M-Laboratory. The most recent version of the model used in the calculations covers each of the EU Member States, EU candidate countries and Neighbouring countries, uses Eurostat as the main data source, and is updated with 2000 as the base year. The PRIMES model is the result of collaborative research under a series of projects supported by the Joule programme of the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission.

The model determines the equilibrium by finding the prices of each energy form such that the quantity producers find best to supply match the quantity consumers wish to use. The equilibrium is static (within each time period) but repeated in a time-forward path, under dynamic relationships. The model is behavioural but also represents in an explicit and detailed way the available energy demand and supply technologies and pollution abatement technologies. It reflects considerations about market economics, industry structure, energy/environmental policies and regulation. These are conceived so as to influence the market behaviour of energy system agents. The modular structure of PRIMES reflects a distribution of decision-making among agents that decide individually about their supply, demand, combined supply and demand, and prices. Then the market-integrating part of PRIMES simulates market clearing. PRIMES is a general purpose model. It conceived for forecasting, scenario construction and policy impact analysis. It covers a medium to long-term horizon. It is modular and allows either for a unified model use or for partial use of modules to support specific energy studies.

For more information see: here.

Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gap filling has been specified. Probably this info has been added together with indicator calculation.

Methodology references


Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty


Data sources

Generic metadata


Environmental scenarios Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)

Energy Energy

ghg emissions | energy | forward looking indicators
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: N/A
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 048
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anita Pirc Velkavrh


EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)


European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100