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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Net Energy Import Dependency / Net Energy Import Dependency (ENER 012) - Assessment published Sep 2010

Net Energy Import Dependency (ENER 012) - 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This content has been archived on 06 Nov 2013, reason: Other (Not currently being regularly updated)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:
fuels | energy consumption | natural gas | energy | uranium | gases | co2 | solid fuels | oil | fossil fuels | emissions
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 012
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
2000-2008
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
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is fossil fuel import dependency decreasing in Europe?

Key messages

The EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels from non-EU countries has increased in recent years. Total net imports (imports minus exports) of natural gas, solid fuels and oil (including petroleum products) as a share of primary energy consumption rose from 47.8 % in 2000 to 54.5% in 2007. The increased use of gas, primarily replacing domestic coal, has had a positive environmental benefit within the EU (for example via reduced emissions of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions), but has also increased some risks associated with security of energy supply.

EU27 net imports of natural gas, oil, solid fuels and the sum of these, by country of origin, as a % of fuel-specific gross inland energy consumption

Note: EU27 net imports of natural gas, oil, solid fuels and the sum of these, by country of origin, as a % of fuel-specific gross inland energy consumption

Data source:

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Imports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_121a&lang=en#javascript:void(0)

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Exports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_131a&lang=en

Downloads and more info

Member State net (Extra-EU27) imports of natural gas, oil and solid fuels as a % of total Gross Inland Energy Consumption, 2007

Note: Member State net (Extra-EU27) imports of natural gas, oil and solid fuels as a % of total Gross Inland Energy Consumption, 2007

Data source:

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Imports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_121a&lang=en#javascript:void(0)

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Exports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_131a&lang=en

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Member State primary production of natural gas, oil and solid fuels as a % of total Gross Inland Energy Consumption, 2007

Note: Member State primary production of natural gas, oil and solid fuels as a % of total Gross Inland Energy Consumption, 2007

Data source:

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Imports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_121a&lang=en#javascript:void(0)

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Exports (by country of origin). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_131a&lang=en

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Net imports of all fossil fuels and CO2 emissions in EU-27 by fuel and origin of the fuel, 2007

Note: Net imports of all fossil fuels and CO2 emissions in EU-27 by fuel and origin of the fuel, 2007

Data source:

EEA, Data on greenhouse gas emissions and removals, sent by countries to UNFCCC and the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism (EU Member States)
http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/national-emissions-reported-to-the-unfccc-and-to-the-eu-greenhouse-gas-monitoring-mechanism-3

Eurostat, Energy statistics, Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_100a&lang=en

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Sources of uranium delivered to EU-27 utilities in 2008

Note: Sources of uranium delivered to EU-27 utilities in 2008

Data source:

Euratom, Annual report 2008. http://ec.europa.eu/euratom/ar/ar2008.pdf

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Key assessment

  • The EU’s energy system remains highly dependent on fossil fuels (see ENER 26). The EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels (natural gas, solid fuels and oil)[1] from non-EU countries rose from 47.8% in 2000 (as a share of total gross inland energy consumption) to 54.5 % in 2007 (see Figure 1, 54.0% excluding the net imports of petroleum products). Of these imports, 33% originate from Russia, 14% from Norway, 6% from Algeria and 6% from Libya. Oil imports are highest and accounted for 59.7% of total net fossil fuel imports and 90% of oil-based gross inland consumption in 2007, followed by natural gas 26.5% of total fossil fuel import and 60.3% of gas-based gross inland consumption and solid fuels with 13.9% of total fossil fuel import and 41.2% of solid fuel-based gross inland consumption (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 for data by member state).
  • There is a large trade volume of petroleum products in EU27. In 2007, 287Mtoe petroleum products were imported in EU27 countries, equivalent to 44% of total oil-based gross inland consumption. A share of 62% of this traded volume moved within EU27 countries. In the same year, 282 Mtoe was exported, of which 63% within EU27 countries. The resulting net import of petroleum products in EU27 from countries outside EU27 was small and equivalent to 10 Mtoe in 2007.
  • In addition to fossil fuels, Europe imports also uranium for its nuclear power industry which accounts for about 30% of the world's nuclear power generation. The EU industry has the capacity for uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication, but is dependent on imported uranium (see also ENER13). The situation is however better (from diversity of supply point of view) than for most fossil fuels, due to the wide distribution of uranium around the globe, in geopolitically stable areas (see Figure 5). In 2008, 25% of uranium delivered to utilities in EU27 originated from Canada, 17% from Russia and 16% from Australia.
  • Biomass imports in EU27 are small. In 2008, net imports as share of total primary biomass supply amounted to 2.4% and 4.5% of total imports (IEA, 2009).
  • Russia remains the largest single energy exporter of energy commodities to the EU in 2007, having supplied 20% of EU’s total gross inland energy consumption and 33% of total import of fossil fuels, up from 24% in 2000 (see Figure1). The increase reflects mainly the quadrupling of coal exports and doubling of oil exports over the period. In addition, Russia supplied also 17% of uranium to the EU in 2008.
  • The net dependence on fuel imports varies significantly between Member States as illustrated by Figure2. This reflects differences in the availability of indigenous fossil resources and renewables (see ENER 26 and ENER29). In addition, the level of crude oil import reflects the availability of refining capacity and direct production of final products (for self consumption or export) versus direct import of these final products (Wood Mackenzie, 2007). In some cases (for example Lithuania) this leads to high import dependence as a share of primary energy of 92% in 2007 (as some refined products are exported). Conversely, for other countries there is limited or no refining capacity (for example in the case of Luxembourg) and hence only final products are imported.


[1] Definitions are provided in the meta data.

Specific policy question: What are the trends and the driving forces behind the gas import dependency?

Specific assessment

      • Natural gas imports accounted for 60% of total EU’s gas-based gross inland consumption, up from 49% in 2000. Rising natural gas net imports are driven by a combination of: declining domestic EU reserves, rising electricity demand and environmental legislation (such as the Large Combustion Plant Directive 2001/80/EC and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme 2003/87/EC), which tends to favour the use of natural gas which is less polluting. The price differential with coal also plays a role. In 2007, the imported gas (from outside EU27) came mainly from Russia (39%) and Norway (25%).
      • In 2008, the share of LNG in imported natural gas amounted to 16% of gas-based gross inland consumption. LNG is expected to have wider applications from replacing piped natural gas to ship fuel and fuel for industrial applications (see for instance the small scale LNG production in Norway). Spain and France are the biggest LNG importers in 2008 according to BP (2009), accounting for 87% of total LNG imports in EU27. A larger share of LNG in the European energy mix may reduce the environmental pressures coming from the energy production (GHG emissions and air pollution), depending on the fuel used for shipping as well as the routes chosen. Also, the development of LNG markets may help in diversifying the natural gas suppliers, as countries such as Egypt and Qatar are expected to be amongst the main suppliers of LNG. 

Specific policy question: What are the trends and the driving forces behind the solid fuels import dependency?

Specific assessment

    • The share of coal imports in the EU’s coal-based gross inland consumption was 41% in 2007, up from 30% in 2000. 94% of this import is hard coal, 4% of hard coke and 2% of lignite. The EU still has significant reserves of coal, estimated to range between 8.5-19 Gtonne for hard coal and 21-75 Gtonne for lignite in 2005, equivalent to 60-200 times the current coal use in EU27 (EC, 2008c). However, the lowest-cost seams have generally been extracted already making it more economic to import. The share of coal in gross inland energy consumption has declined over time, from 27% in 1990 to 18% in years 2001-2007 due to increasing use of natural gas, mainly in power generation and space heating (see also Figure 3 for domestic production).

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

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