Overview of electricity production and use in Europe

Indicator Assessment
Indicator codes: ENER 038
Created 02 Oct 2015 Published 10 Dec 2015 Last modified 10 Dec 2015, 11:27 AM
Topics: ,
Fossil fuels continued to dominate the electricity mix in 2013, being responsible for close to one half (45%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU-28, but their share has decreased by 20% since 1990. In contrast, for the first time, more electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2013 than from nuclear sources or from coal and lignite. The share of electricity generated from renewable sources is growing rapidly and reached more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU-28 in 2013 (27%), twice as much as in 1990. Nuclear energy sources contribute more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2013 as well (27%). Final electricity consumption ( the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports ) has increased by 28% in the EU-28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.1% per year (see ENER 016). In the EU-28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (2.8% per year), followed by households (1.6% per year). With regard to the non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2013 electricity generation increased by an average of 6.4% per year in Turkey, and 10% per year in Norway.

Key messages

Fossil fuels continued to dominate the electricity mix in 2013, being responsible for close to one half (45%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU-28, but their share has decreased by 20% since 1990. In contrast, for the first time, more electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2013 than from nuclear sources or from coal and lignite. The share of electricity generated from renewable sources is growing rapidly and reached more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU-28 in 2013 (27%), twice as much as in 1990. Nuclear energy sources contribute more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2013 as well (27%).

Final electricity consumption (the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports) has increased by 28% in the EU-28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.1% per year (see ENER 016). In the EU-28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (2.8% per year), followed by households (1.6% per year).

With regard to the non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2013 electricity generation increased by an average of 6.4% per year in Turkey, and 10% per year in Norway.

Is electricity production in Europe becoming less carbon intensive?

CO2 emission intensity

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Gross electricity production by fuel

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Electricity generation

Between 1990 and 2013, gross electricity generation[1] in the EU-28 increased by 26%, at an average rate of 1% per year. Since 2005, a small decrease of 0.3% per year was observed.


[1] Gross electricity generation (also called electricity production) refers gross generation in all types of power plants (not to be confused with final electricity consumption).

Contribution of fuels to 2013 electricity generation

In 2013, electricity generation by fuel in the EU-28 was as follows (Figure 2):

  • 26% from coal and lignite (compared to 39% in 1990);
  • 27% from nuclear energy (compared to 31% in 1990);
  • 27% from renewables (compared to 13% in 1990);
  • 17% from natural and derived gas (compared to 9% in 1990);
  • 2% from oil (compared to 9% in 1990); and
  • 1% from other fuels (unchanged from 1990).


Fossil fuel electricity generation

Fossil fuels continue to dominate the EU-28 electricity mix, although a 20% decline in their share of gross electricity generation, from 56% in 1990 to 44.8% in 2013, was observed.

  • Electricity generated from coal and lignite decreased by 14 percentage points over the period, at an average rate of 0.7% per year. The reduction in the share of solid fuels was driven by changes in the prices of solid fuels compared to natural gas, as well as by support policies for renewables and more stringent environmental regulations.
  • The electricity produced from natural and derived gas increased by 142% between 1990 and 2013, at an average rate of 3.9% per year. The use of these fuels increased rapidly between 1990 and 2005 (+8.0% per year) but, on average, it decreased from then on (-3.3% per year). The observed coal-to-gas switch during the nineties was driven by several factors, including greater health and environmental concerns, consistently falling gas prices in the late 1980s and 1990s, and the attractiveness of combined-cycle gas plants[2]. Since 2008, the share of natural gas in electricity generation has declined by 7.8 percentage points against the backdrop of increasing gas prices driven by the gas-to-oil price indexation, lower economic activity and low COprices under the EU-ETS.

[2] Combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT) became more attractive due to a combination of factors, especially their relatively low capital expenditure (CAPEX), higher efficiency rate, the possibility to run the plants in a more flexible mode (i.e. start-up and shut-down operations) and favourable coal-gas price differentials since the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Nuclear electricity generation

Nuclear electricity increased by 10% between 1990 and 2013, at an average annual rate of 0.4%. A closer look at the trend reveals an increase between 1990 and 2005  of 1.5% per year and, since 2005, an average decrease  of 1.6% per year). Nuclear electricity decreased between 2005 and 2013 in Germany (‑6.3% per year), the Netherlands (-4.0% per year) and Bulgaria (-3.4% per year), while it increased in countries such as Romania (9.7% per year), the Czech Republic (2.8% per year) and Hungary (1.3% per year).

In the wake of the Fukushima accident of 2011, several countries plan to step up the decommissioning of nuclear power plants (e.g. Germany, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland, with Germany planning to decommission all of its nuclear plants by 2022 and Spain banning the construction of new reactors). Other countries, however, still consider increasing their nuclear capacity (UK, Romania) or have new nuclear power plants under construction (e.g. Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia and France). The costs of nuclear electricity generation in France increased by about 20% between 2010 and 2013 due to large investments in maintenance and safety measures since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

Renewable electricity generation

The electricity produced from renewable sources increased by 171% between 1990 and 2013 at an average annual rate of 4.4%. Since 2005, the rate has been higher, at 7.5% per year. The acceleration observed since 2005 occurred in the context of national and EU renewable energy support policies and significant cost reductions achieved by certain renewable energy technologies, such as solar photovoltaics in recent years. In 2013, 45% of the renewable electricity was generated from hydro (94% in 1990), 27% from wind (0% in 1990), 18% from biomass (5% in 1990), 10% from solar (0% in 1990) and 1% from geothermal (1% in 1990).

Carbon intensity of the EU-28 fuel mix[3]

In the light of the fuel shifts observed between 1990 and 2012, public electricity and heat generation in the EU-28 became one quarter less carbon intensive[4] in 2012 (566 g CO2 /kWh) than in 1990 (754 g CO2/kWh) (Figure 1). Between 2000 and 2010, the CO2 emissions per kWh generated decreased  by 29% on average (1.7% per year) This was due to increased production efficiency and the transition from coal to gas for the generation of public electricity and heat. Since 2010, however,  CO2‑emissions intensity has increased by 2.6% per year, mainly due to an increase in the share of electricity and heat generated from coal and lignite at the expense of gas.

[3] Due to the unavailability of official greenhouse gas data at the time of publication, this section refers to 2012 data. It will be updated when official data for 2013 becomes available.

[4] Calculated as the ratio of CO2 emissions from public electricity and heat production to public electricity and heat generation. 

Non-EU EEA member countries

An assessment of electricity generation for non-EU EEA countries could be performed for Turkey and Norway only, for which energy statistics data was available. In Turkey, electricity generation increased by 183% between 1990 and 2013, at an average rate of 6.4% per year. Between 2005 and 2013, electricity production increased by 5.0% per year. Natural gas contributes almost half of the electricity production (45%) in Turkey, followed by renewables (29%) and coal (26%). In Norway, electricity generation increased by 10% between 1990 and 2013, at an average rate of 0.4% year. Between 2005 and 2013, electricity production decreased by 2.7% per year. Renewables (mainly hydro) contribute to almost all electricity production in Norway (98%).

Is electricity consumption in Europe increasing?

Final energy consumption of electricity by sector

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Average annual percentage change in final electricity consumption

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Electricity consumption

Between 1990 and 2013, final electricity consumption (i.e. the total consumption by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports) increased in the EU-28 by 28.1%, at an average annual growth rate of 1.1% per year (see Figure 3). Power stations' own electricity consumption (for instance in transformers, per unit of electricity produced) and the associated transmission and distribution network losses led to a slightly higher growth rate for electricity consumption than for electricity generation. 

  • Most countries in the EU-28 experienced an overall increase in electricity consumption over this period, except for Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia.
  • However, the average annual growth rate of electricity consumption varied greatly by country, ranging from ‑1.3% per year in Lithuania to about 3.5% per year in Cyprus.
  • The decrease or low growth in electricity consumption in the new Member States was a combined result of economic restructuring in the 1990s, price adjustments and the decrease or low growth of the population in those countries.
  • Within the EU-28, electricity consumption peaked in 2008, after which it began to decrease. By 2013 it was 3.3% below the 2008 level (before the recession), but still above the 1990 level.


In the non-EU EEA countries, Turkey and Norway, electricity consumption increased between 1990 and 2013 by 0.5% per year (Norway) and 6.6% per year (Turkey). The growth of electricity consumption in non-EU EEA countries was dominated by the increased electricity consumption in Turkey. Here, the high consumption rate is due to Turkey's rapid transition to a modernised economy with the associated increase in electricity generation and use. Between 2005 and 2013, there was a continued increase of 5.4% per year for Turkey, while in Norway electricity consumption decreased by 0.2% per year.

Electricity consumption by sector

The increase in electricity consumption since 1990 can be traced back to an increase in consumption in the services and households sectors, at 87% and 36% respectively (see Figure 3). Since 2005, electricity consumption in these sectors continued to increase (3% for the household sector and 13% for the service sector), while electricity consumption in industry decreased by 12% over the same period due to improvements in industrial processes and a slightly decrease in activity.

In the year 2013:

  • Industry remained the largest electricity-consuming sector in the EU-28, accounting for 36% of all electricity consumption in the EU-28 (compared to 46% in 1990). Between 1990 and 2005, electricity consumption in the industry sector increased by 0.9% per year, while it decreased by an average of 1.6% per year from 2005 to 2013.
  • The services sector and the households sector come second, with each one responsible for one third of all electricity consumption in the EU-28:
    • The consumption of electricity in the services sector stood at 30% in 2013, compared to 20% in 1990. It is the sector with the fastest growing consumption. Since 1990, electricity consumption in the service sector increased by 87.5%, at an average annual growth rate of 2.8%. The main reasons for increased electricity consumption in the service sector were the sustained growth of this sector throughout the EU and the increased use of air conditioning and IT equipment (see ENER 037).
    • Electricity consumption in the households sector also amounted to 30% of all electricity consumption in the EU-28, compared to 28% in 1990. Between 1990 and 2013, electricity consumption in the household sector grew by 36%, at an average annual rate of 1.3%. Between 2005 and 2013, electricity consumption in the household sector increased by 2.6%. Improvements in the energy efficiency of large electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and dryers, were balanced by the use, numbers and size of large appliances as well as a growing number of smaller appliances and IT appliances (explanatory factors for the energy consumption of households are shown in ENER 037.
  • The transport sector was responsible for 2.3% of all electricity consumption in the EU-28 (3% in 1990). Between 1990 and 2013, electricity consumption in the EU-28 countries' transport sector grew by just 1.2%, at an average annual rate of 0.05% per year. The net small increase was due to the increased electrification of Europe’s railways (especially in France and the United Kingdom) and a gradual decrease in electricity consumed for transport purposes (railways) in the new Member States.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing were responsible for 1.9% of all electricity consumption in the EU-28 (2.6% in 1990). Electricity consumption in these sectors decreased by 1% per year between 1990 and 2005, and has been growing since 2005 by an average of 1.3% per year (‑0.2% per year over the whole period 1990-2013).

    In non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2013, overall electricity consumption in all sectors increased by 336% in Turkey and 13% in Norway. The average rate of increase was 6.6% per year and 0.5% per year, respectively. In the main sectors the average growth rates recorded between 1990 and 2013 were:

    • Industry: 5.4% per year (Turkey) and -0.2% per year (Norway),
    • Services: 9.0% per year (Turkey) and 1.2% per year (Norway), and
    • Households: 7.2% per year (Turkey) and 0.9% per year (Norway).

    In 2013, the share of electricity consumption in the agricultural, fishing and forestry sectors of Turkey and Norway were 3% and 2%, respectively. This constituted an average annual increase of 8.2% inTurkey and 5.4% in Norway since 1990, and an annual rate of 2.2% (Turkey) and 0.7% (Norway) since 2005. For both countries, electricity consumption in the transport sector had a share of less than 1% in 2013.

    Electricity consumption per capita

    Electricity consumption per capita increased by 20% in the EU-28 between 1990 (4 553 kWh/capita) and 2013 (5 470 kWh/capita). The EU-wide consumption average varies greatly between countries, with a low per-capita consumption observed in some new Member States, including Romania (2 029 kWh/capita), Lithuania (3 013 kWh/capita), Latvia (3 249 kWh/capita), Poland (3 259 kWh/capita) and Hungary (3 518 kWh/capita), and a high per-capita consumption observed in other Member States, including Finland (14 727 kWh/capita) and Sweden (13 083 kWh/capita). In Sweden, this is due to the high market penetration of electrical heating linked to the low-cost of hydropower produced electricity (see Figure 5 and ENER 037). The increasing use of air conditioning in southern European countries also contributes to a large increase in electricity consumption during the summer months. 

    Between 1990 and 2013, the electricity consumption per capita in non-EU EEA countries decreased at an average annual rate of 0.2% in Norway and grew rapidly in Turkey at an average annual rate of 5.2%. In 2013, per capita electricity consumption reached 21 632 kWh for Norway, whereas for Turkey it was one order of magnitude smaller (2 591 kWh).

    Are power plants becoming more efficient?

    Average efficiency of the electricity sector per country (without pumped hydro)

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    Power generation is becoming more efficient in the EU-28: the average efficiency increased from 36% in 1990 to 43% in 2013. Efficiency depends mainly on the mix of fuels (fossil, nuclear or renewables) and the mix of power and heat generation:

    • high efficiencies are related to hydro and wind (100% efficiency, given that electricity is the first measurable primary equivalent energy for these renewable energy technologies);
    • low efficiencies are associated with old fossil fuel fired power and/or heat plants (<30%), nuclear power plants (typically 33%, with heat being the first measurable primary equivalent energy), direct biomass burning (20-25%) or geothermal power and/or heat generation (efficiencies of around 10% or less, with heat being the first measurable primary equivalent energy). The co-firing of fossil fuel plants with biomass does not decrease the efficiency of these plants significantly.
    • between 1990 and 2013, the share of electricity in the output of conventional thermal plants and district heating (electricity and heat) increased slightly in combination with increasing efficiencies (see ENER 019).

    The EEA member countries with an average power generation efficiency of 50% or more in 2013 were: Norway (98%), Luxembourg (76%), Austria (73%), Croatia (61%), Portugal (58%), Ireland (54%) and Spain (52%).


    The largest increases occurred in Romania and Croatia due to the decommissioning of inefficient fossil fuel fired power plants and the increased share of hydro and/or wind:  Romania increased from 23% in 1990 to 42% in 2013, while Croatia increased from 45% to 61% in the same period.

    Indicator specification and metadata

    Indicator definition

    Total gross electricity generation covers gross electricity generation in all types of power plants. Gross electricity generation at plant level is defined as the electricity measured at the outlet of the main transformers, i.e. the consumption of electricity in the plant auxiliaries and in transformers is included.

    Electricity production by fuel is the gross electricity generation from plants using the following fuels: coal and lignite, oil, nuclear, natural and derived gas, renewables (wind. hydro. biomass and waste. solar photovoltaics and geothermal) and other fuels. The latter include electricity produced from power plants not accounted for elsewhere such as those fuelled by certain types of industrial wastes, which are not classed as renewable. Other fuels also include the electricity produced as a result of pumping in hydro power stations.

    The share of each fuel in electricity production is taken as the ratio of electricity production from the relevant category against total gross electricity generation. It should be noted that the share of renewable electricity in this indicator, based on production, is not directly comparable with the share required under Directive 2001/77/EC, which is based upon the share of renewables in electricity consumption. The difference between both shares is accounted for by the net balance between imports and exports of electricity and by how much domestic electricity generation is increased or reduced as a result.

    Final electricity consumption covers electricity supplied to the final consumer's door for all energy uses. It does not include the electricity producer's own use or transmission and distribution losses. It is calculated as the sum of final electricity consumption from all sectors. These are disaggregated to cover industry, transport, households and services (including agriculture and other sectors).

    Units

    • Electricity generation is measured in either gigawatt hours (GWh) or terawatt hours (TWh) (1 TWh = 1000 GWh).
    • Final electricity consumption is measured in terawatt hours (TWh).

    Policy context and targets

    Context description

    Environmental context

    This indicator describes the trends observed in electricity generation and use in Europe. Electricity generation has a number of negative impacts on the environment and human health. These arise at all stages of the electricity life-cycle, for instance:

    • impacts on climate change and air quality due to the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and air pollutants (e.g. SO2, NOx and PM) arise from combustion processes;
    • impacts on water quality and quantity as a result of dam construction for hydropower, water retention for energy crops and water use for the cooling of power plants;
    • direct and indirect impacts on land resources, including natural habitats and ecosystems, as a result of further deforestation in the tropics for the production of bioenergy, as well as the fragmentation of habitats due to resource extraction and the construction of pipelines, grids and infrastructures needed for power generation.
    • a broad range of specific social and environmental impacts due to the extraction of conventional and unconventional fossil fuels.

    Most of these impacts tend to be fuel-specific. For instance, nuclear power produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution throughout its life-cycle, compared to conventional sources, but carries a certain risk of accidental radioactive release. Moreover, the management and disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste is problematic. While electricity from natural gas gives rise to approximately 40 % fewer carbon dioxide emissions per unit than coal and 25 % fewer carbon dioxide emissions than oil, and contains only marginal quantities of sulphur (see ENER 036), increasing the use of unconventional gas resources (such as shale gas and coal bed methane) would lead to other specific environmental pressures.

    In total gross electricity production, the shares of electricity generation from different fuels aim to indicate to what extent the decarbonisation of electricity generation in Europe has occurred. Pressure exerted on the environment and human health due to energy consumption can be diminished by decreasing electricity consumption through efficiency improvements and energy conservation, and switching to those sources and technologies that have a lower impact on the environment and human health.

    Policy context

    • Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework, European Council, 23 and 24 October 2014, SN 79/14.
    • A policy framework for climate and energy between 2020 and 2030 (COM(2014) 15 final) presents an integrated policy framework with binding EU-wide targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and the development of renewable energy sources, and includes objectives for energy efficiency improvements up to 2030.
    • A roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (COM(2011) 112 final) presents plans for actions in line with an 80-95 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    • Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy (COM(2010) 639 final) - presents the five priorities of the new energy strategy defined by the Commission.
    • On 6 April, the Council adopted the climate-energy legislative package, known as the climate action and renewable energy (CARE) package, containing measures to fight climate change and promote renewable energy. This package is designed to achieve the EU's overall environmental target of a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gases and a 20 % share of renewable energy in the EU's total energy consumption by 2020.
    • Directive 2009/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading scheme of the community.
    • Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide.
    • Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.
    • Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework to set eco-design requirements for energy-related products.
    • Directive 2010/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on indications of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products via labelling and standard product information .
    • Community guidelines on state aid for environmental protection (2008/c 82/01).
    • Directive 2008/101/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading within the Community.
    • Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, setting emissions performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reducing CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
    • Second Strategic Energy Review; COM(2008) 781 final. Strategic review on short, medium and long term targets on EU energy security.

    Targets

    No targets have been specified

    Related policy documents

    • 2008/c 82/01
      Community guidelines on state aid for environmental protection (2008/c 82/01)
    • 2009/29/ec
      Directive 2009/29/ec of the European parliament and of the Council amending directive 2003/87/ec so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the community.
    • 2009/31/EC
      Directive 2009/31/ec of the European parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide.
    • 2009/125/EC - Ecodesign Directive
      The Ecodesign Directive is a framework Directive: it does not set binding requirements on products by itself, but through  implementing measures  adopted on a case by case basis for each product group. All guiding principles for developing implementing measures are set in the  framework Directive 2009/125/EC . The list of product groups to be addressed through implementing measures is established in the periodic  Working Plan .  Standardisation  supports the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive (notably through harmonised standards giving presumption of conformity with all or some Ecodesign legal requirements).
    • COM (2011) 112 - A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050
      With its "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" the European Commission is looking beyond these 2020 objectives and setting out a plan to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century as agreed by European Heads of State and governments. It shows how the sectors responsible for Europe's emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy over the coming decades.
    • COM(2008) 16 final
      Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gasemission allowance trading system of the Community
    • COM(2008) 781
      COM(2008) 781 final - Second Strategic Energy Review
    • COM(2010) 639 final: Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
      A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
    • COM(2014) 15 final
      Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030". 22 January 2014, COM(2014) 15 final; {SWD(2014) 15 final}, {SWD(2014) 16 final}.  This Communication p resents an integrated policy framework with binding EU-wide targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and the development of renewable energy sources and with objectives for energy efficiency improvements for the period up to 2030.
    • Decision No 406/2009/EC (Effort Sharing Decision)
      Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020
    • DIRECTIVE 2008/101/EC
      DIRECTIVE 2008/101/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 19 November 2008 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community
    • DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC
      DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC
    • Directive 2010/30/EU
      Energy labelling directive Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products
    • EEA greenhouse gas - data viewer
      The EEA GHG viewer provides easy access and analysis of the data contained in the Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory and inventory report. The EEA GHG data viewer can show emission trends for the main sectors and allows for comparisons of emissions between different countries and activities.
    • EU Council Conclusion SN79/14 on 2030 Climate and Energy Framework
      EU Council conclusions of 23 October 2014 on 2030 Climate and Energy Framework
    • Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
      Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; adopted at COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997
    • REGULATION (EC) No 443/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL 443/2009
      Regulation (ec) no 443/2009 of the European parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
    • The EU climate and energy (CARE) Package
      The climate and energy package is a set of binding legislation which aims to ensure the European Union meets its ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020. These targets, known as the "20-20-20" targets, set three key objectives for 2020: A 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; Raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%; A 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.
    • Treaty of Accession to the European Union. Annex II. Part 12. page 588
      Amends Directive 2001/77/EC in order to set targets for new Member States on the contribution of renewable energy to electricity generation.

    Methodology

    Methodology for indicator calculation

    Technical information

    1. Geographical coverage:
      The EEA had 33 member countries at the time of writing. These are the 28 European Union Member States and Turkey, plus the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). Iceland and Liechtenstein are no longer covered separately by Eurostat.
    2. Methodology and frequency of data collection:
      Data collected annually.
      Eurostat definitions and concepts for energy statistics http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/nrg_quant_esms.htm
      Eurostat metadata for energy statistics http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics/metadata
    3. Methodology of data manipulation: Average annual rate of growth calculated using: [(last year/base year) ^ (1/number of years) –1]*100
      Share of electricity production by fuel calculated as the ratio of electricity production by fuel type to total gross electricity generation.
      The coding (used in the Eurostat database) for the gross electricity generation is :

      Coal fired power stations
    • Anthracite: main electricity activity 22_108501, main activity CHP 22_108502, autoproducers electricity 22_108503, autoproducers CHP 22_108504
    • Coking coal: main electricity activity 22_108511, main activity CHP 22_108512, autoproducers electricity 22_108513, autoproducers CHP 22_108514
    • Bituminous: main electricity activity 22_108521, main activity CHP 22_108522, autoproducers electricity 22_108523, autoproducers CHP 22_108524
    • Sub Bituminous: main electricity activity 22_108531, main activity CHP 22_108532, autoproducers electricity 22_108533, autoproducers CHP 22_108534
    • Lignite/brown coal: main electricity activity 22_108541, main activity CHP 22_108542, autoproducers electricity 22_108543, autoproducers CHP 22_108544
    • Peat: main electricity activity 22_108551, main activity CHP 22_108552, autoproducers electricity 22_108553, autoproducers CHP 22_108554
    • Patent fuel: main electricity activity 22_108561, main activity CHP 22_108562, autoproducers electricity 22_108563, autoproducers CHP 22_108564
    • Coke oven coke: main electricity activity 22_108571, main activity CHP 22_108572, autoproducers electricity 22_108573, autoproducers CHP 22_108574
    • Gas coke: main electricity activity 22_108581, main activity CHP 22_108582, autoproducers electricity 22_108583, autoproducers CHP 22_108584
    • Coal tar: main electricity activity 22_108591, main activity CHP 22_108592, autoproducers electricity 22_108593, autoproducers CHP 22_108594
    • BKB/briquettes: main electricity activity 22_108601, main activity CHP 22_108602, autoproducers electricity 22_108603, autoproducers CHP 22_108604

      Oil fired power stations
    • Crude oil: main electricity activity 22_108701, main activity CHP 22_108702, autoproducers electricity 22_108703, autoproducers CHP 22_108704
    • NGL (Natural Gas Liquid) : main electricity activity 22_108711, main activity CHP 22_108712, autoproducers electricity 22_108713, autoproducers CHP 22_108714
    • Refinery gas: main electricity activity 22_108721, main activity CHP 22_108722, autoproducers electricity 22_108723, autoproducers CHP 22_108724
    • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG): main electricity activity 22_108731, main activity CHP 22_108732, autoproducers electricity 22_108733, autoproducers CHP 22_108734
    • Naphta: main electricity activity 22_108741, main activity CHP 22_108742, autoproducers electricity 22_108743, autoproducers CHP 22_108744
    • Kerozene type jet fuel: main electricity activity 22_108751, main activity CHP 22_108752, autoproducers electricity 22_108753, autoproducers CHP 22_108754
    • Other Kerosene: main electricity activity 22_108761, main activity CHP 22_108762, autoproducers electricity 22_108763, autoproducers CHP 22_108764
    • Gas/diesel oil: main electricity activity 22_108771, main activity CHP 22_108772, autoproducers electricity 22_108773, autoproducers CHP 22_108774
    • Residual fuel oil: main electricity activity 22_108781, main activity CHP 22_108782, autoproducers electricity 22_108783, autoproducers CHP 22_108784
    • Bitumen: main electricity activity 22_108791, main activity CHP 22_108792, autoproducers electricity 22_108793, autoproducers CHP 22_108794
    • Petroleum coke: main electricity activity 22_108801, main activity CHP 22_108802, autoproducers electricity 22_108803, autoproducers CHP 22_108804
    • Other oil products: main electricity activity 22_108811, main activity CHP 22_108812, autoproducers electricity 22_108813, autoproducers CHP 22_108814

    Natural gas fired power stations
    • Main electricity activity 22_108891, main activity CHP 22_108892, autoproducers electricity 22_108893, autoproducers CHP 22_108894

      Derived gas fired power stations
    • Gas works gas: main electricity activity 22_108611, main activity CHP 22_108612, autoproducers electricity 22_108613, autoproducers CHP 22_108614
    • Coke oven gas: main electricity activity 22_1086211, main activity CHP 22_108622, autoproducers electricity 22_108623, autoproducers CHP 22_108624
    • Blast furnace gas: main electricity activity 22_108631, main activity CHP 22_108632, autoproducers electricity 22_108633, autoproducers CHP 22_108634
    • Oxygen steel furnace gas: main electricity activity 22_108641, main activity CHP 22_108642, autoproducers electricity 22_108643, autoproducers CHP 22_108644

    Biomass fired power stations

    • Industrial wastes: main electricity activity 22_108901, main activity CHP 22_108902, autoproducers electricity 22_108903, autoproducers CHP 22_108904
    • Municipal wastes (renewable): main electricity activity 22_108911, main activity CHP 22_108912, autoproducers electricity 22_108913, autoproducers CHP 22_108914
    • Municipal wastes (non-renewable): main electricity activity 22_108921, main activity CHP 22_108922, autoproducers electricity 22_108923, autoproducers CHP 22_108924
    • Wood, wood wastes and other solid fuels: main electricity activity 22_108931, main activity CHP 22_108932, autoproducers electricity 22_1089313, autoproducers CHP 22_108934
    • Landfill gas: main electricity activity 22_108941, main activity CHP 22_108942, autoproducers electricity 22_1089343, autoproducers CHP 22_108944
    • Sludge gas: main electricity activity 22_108951, main activity CHP 22_108952, autoproducers electricity 22_1089353, autoproducers CHP 22_108954
    • Other biogas: main electricity activity 22_108961, main activity CHP 22_108962, autoproducers electricity 22_1089363, autoproducers CHP 22_108964
    • Other liquid biofuels: main electricity activity 22_108971, main activity CHP 22_108972, autoproducers electricity 22_1089373, autoproducers CHP 22_108974

      Solar
    • Main electricity from photovoltaics 14_1070421, main solar thermal 14_1070422, autoproducers solar 14_1070423

      Pumped hydro
    • Main electricity from pumped hydro 15_107036, autoproducers pumped hydro 14_107037

      Nuclear
    • Main electricity activity 15_107030, main activity CHP 15_107031, autoproducers electricity 15_107032, autoproducers CHP 15_107033

      It should be noted that in the Eurostat database ‘Other fuels – 107012’ also includes ‘gross production from photovoltaic systems - 107023’ and although almost negligible in overall terms, it has been subtracted from 107012 in the calculation of the indicator.
      For the denominator, where required: total gross electricity generation 107000.

      Electricity consumption
      The coding (used in the Eurostat New Cronos database) and specific components of the indicator (in relation to the product ‘6000 - electrical energy’) are:
      Numerator: final electricity consumption industry 101800 + final electricity consumption transport 101900 + final electricity consumption households 102010 + final electricity consumption services/agriculture calculated as (final electricity consumption households/services 102000 - final electricity consumption households 102010).
      Only if needed for shares; denominator: (total) final electricity consumption 101700.

      Efficiency of the electric sector
      The efficiency of the electric sector is calculated as the ratio between electricity production and the inputs used to produce electricity: Transformation input for thermal power stations (coal, oil, gas, biomass) + nuclear production, hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, biofuel).

      CO2 emissions intensity of public electricity and heat production
      The CO2 emissions intensity of public electricity and heat production is calculated as the ratio between CO2 emissions from public electricity and heat production (in gCO2) and the public electricity and heat produced (in kWh). The CO2 emissions data (TgCO2) is from the EEA dataviewer for greenhouse gases. The code is: 1A1a for Public Electricity and Heat production. The CO2 emissions data from for 1A1a is for all energy production from Public Electricity Generation, Public Combined Heat and Power and Public Heat Plants. The corresponding activity (ktoe, kiloton of oil equivalent) data isfrom the Eurostat database:
    • Transformation output - Main Activity Conventional Thermal Power Stations; Electrical Energy; nrg_110a, 6000_B101121;
    • Transformation output - Main Activity Conventional Thermal Power Stations; Derived Heat; nrg_110a, 5200_B101121;
    • Transformation output - District Heating Plants; Derived heat; nrg_100a; 5200_B101109.

    Qualitative information

    Overall scoring – historic data (1 = no major problems. 3 = major reservations):

    • Relevance: 1
    • Accuracy: 1
    • Comparability over time: 1
    • Comparability over space: 1

    Methodology for gap filling

    No gap filling procedure has been applied.

    Methodology references

    No methodology references available.

    Uncertainties

    Methodology uncertainty

    No uncertainty has been specified

    Data sets uncertainty

    Data has been traditionally compiled by Eurostat through the annual Joint Questionnaires, shared by Eurostat and the International Energy Agency, following a well established and harmonised methodology. Methodological information on the annual Joint Questionnaires and data compilation can be found on the Eurostat web page for metadata on energy statistics: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/energy/methodology.

    Rationale uncertainty

    Biomass and wastes, as defined by Eurostat, cover organic, non-fossil material of biological origin, which may be used for heat production or electricity generation. They comprise wood and wood waste, biogas, municipal solid waste (MSW) and biofuels. MSW comprises biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes produced by different sectors. Non-biodegradable municipal and solid wastes are not considered to be renewable, but current data availability does not allow the non-biodegradable content of wastes to be identified separately, except for that from industry.

    Also, electricity data (unlike that for overall energy consumption) for 1990 refers to the western part of Germany only.

    Electricity consumption within the national territory includes imports of electricity from neighbouring countries. It also excludes electricity produced nationally but exported abroad. In some countries, the contribution of electricity trade to total electricity consumption and the changes observed from year to year need to be looked at carefully when analysing trends in electricity production by fuel. Impacts on the (national) environment are also affected, since emissions are counted where electricity is produced, whereas consumption is counted where electricity is consumed.

    Data sources

    Generic metadata

    Topics:

    Energy Energy (Primary topic)

    Tags:
    energy consumption | electric sector | electricity | energy | electricity consumption | ghg retrospective
    DPSIR: Driving force
    Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
    Indicator codes
    • ENER 038
    Dynamic
    Temporal coverage:
    1990-2013
    Geographic coverage:
    Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom

    Contacts and ownership

    EEA Contact Info

    Mihai Florin Tomescu

    EEA Management Plan

    2015 1.3.2 (note: EEA internal system)

    Dates

    Frequency of updates

    Updates are scheduled once per year
    European Environment Agency (EEA)
    Kongens Nytorv 6
    1050 Copenhagen K
    Denmark
    Phone: +45 3336 7100