Overview of electricity production and use in Europe

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-353-en
Also known as: ENER 038
Created 15 Nov 2016 Published 15 Dec 2016 Last modified 15 Dec 2016
Topics: ,
In 2014,  low-carbon energy sources (renewables and nuclear energy) continued to dominate the electricity mix for the second year in a row, together generating  more power than fossil fuel sources. In 2014, fossil fuels were responsible for 42 % of all gross electricity generation, a decrease of 25 % compared with 1990 across the EU-28 . By way of contrast, 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 (29 % in 2014 ), more than twice as much as in 1990. As such, renewable sources generated more electricity in 2014 than nuclear sources or coal and lignite. Nuclear energy sources contributed roughly one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2014 (27.5 %).   Final electricity consumption (the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports) has increased by 25 % in the EU-28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 0.9 % per year (see ENER 016). In the EU-28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (2.5 % per year), followed by households (1.1 % per year). With regard to the non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2014 electricity generation increased by an average of 6.5 % per year in Turkey, 6.3 % per year in Iceland and 0.5 % per year in Norway.

Key messages

In 2014, low-carbon energy sources (renewables and nuclear energy) continued to dominate the electricity mix for the second year in a row, together generating  more power than fossil fuel sources.

  • In 2014, fossil fuels were responsible for 42 % of all gross electricity generation, a decrease of 25 % compared with 1990 across the EU-28.
  • By way of contrast, 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 (29 % in 2014), more than twice as much as in 1990. As such, renewable sources generated more electricity in 2014 than nuclear sources or coal and lignite.
  • Nuclear energy sources contributed roughly one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2014 (27.5 %).

 

Final electricity consumption (the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports) has increased by 25 % in the EU-28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 0.9 % per year (see ENER 016). In the EU-28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (2.5 % per year), followed by households (1.1 % per year).

With regard to the non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2014 electricity generation increased by an average of 6.5 % per year in Turkey, 6.3 % per year in Iceland and 0.5 % per year in Norway.

Is electricity production in Europe becoming less carbon intensive?

CO2 emission intensity

Electricity generation
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Table
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Gross electricity production by fuel

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