Overview of the electricity production and use in Europe

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-353-en
Also known as: ENER 038
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Fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity mix in 2012, being responsible for almost one half (48%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU28. Nuclear energy sources came second, contributing more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2012 (27%). However, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is in rapid progression and reached almost one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU28 in 2012 (24%), having doubled its share since 1990 (see ENER30 for information on renewable electricity consumption). Final electricity consumption [1] increased by 29% in the EU28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.2% per year (see ENER16 ). In the EU28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (3.0%/year), followed by households (1.4%/year) and industry (0.9%/year). In non-EU EEA countries, the growth in electricity consumption was larger and reached 3.6%/year, driven by the rapid growth in Turkey. [1] Final electricity consumption covers the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports.

Key messages

Fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity mix in 2012, being responsible for almost one half (48%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU28. Nuclear energy sources came second, contributing more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2012 (27%). However, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is in rapid progression and reached almost one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU28 in 2012 (24%), having doubled its share since 1990 (see ENER30 for information on renewable electricity consumption).

Final electricity consumption[1] increased by 29% in the EU28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.2% per year (see ENER16). In the EU28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (3.0%/year), followed by households (1.4%/year) and industry (0.9%/year). In non-EU EEA countries, the growth in electricity consumption was larger and reached 3.6%/year, driven by the rapid growth in Turkey.


[1] Final electricity consumption covers the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports.

Is the electricity production becoming less carbon intensive in Europe?

CO2 - emission intensity

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Gross electricity production by fuel

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Final energy consumption of electricity by sector

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Fossil fuel electricity

  • Fossil fuels continue to dominate the EU28 electricity mix, albeit a decline of 8.1 percentage points in their share in gross electricity generation from 56% in 1990 to 47.9% in 2012.
  • Electricity generated from coal and lignite decreased by 11 percentage points between 1990 and 2012, at an average pace of 0.5% per year. This decreasing share of solid fuels has been driven by changes in the prices of solid fuels compared to natural gas, renewables support policies and more stringent environmental regulations.
  • The electricity produced from natural and derived gas increased by 175% between 1990 and 2012, at an average rate of 4.7%/year. It is the result of a rapid increase of 8.0%/year between 1990 and 2005 and, since 2005, a decrease of 1.9%/year. The observed coal-to-gas switch during the nineties was driven by several factors, including higher health and environmental concerns, consistently falling gas prices in the late 1980s and in the 1990s, and the attractiveness of combined-cycle gas plants[1]. Since 2008, the share of natural gas in electricity generation has declined by 5.7 percentage points against the backdrop of increasing gas prices driven by the gas-to-oil price indexation, lower economic activity and low CO2-prices under the EU-ETS.

Nuclear electricity

  • Nuclear electricity increased by 11% between 1990 and 2012, at an average annual rate of 0.5%. It is the result of an increase of 1.5%/year between 1990 and 2005 and, since 2005, an average decrease by 1.7%/year. On average, nuclear electricity decreased between 2005 and 2012 in Germany (‑6.8%/year), Belgium and Bulgaria (-2.4%/year in both countries) and in the UK (-2.1%/year), whilst it increased in countries such as Romania (10.9%/year), the Czech Republic (3.0%/year) and Hungary (1.9%/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 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 (among them Bulgaria Finland, Slovakia and France). Additional investments in maintenance and safety measures since the Fukushima accident may increase the costs of nuclear electricity generation. For example in France, the costs of nuclear electricity generation have increased by about 20% between 2010 and 2013 due to such additional investments.

Renewable electricity

  • The electricity produced from renewable sources increased by 144% between 1990 and 2012 at an average annual rate of 4.1% over this period and at a faster pace (7.1%/year) since 2005. The acceleration observed since 2005 occurred in the context of national and EU renewable energy support policies. In 2012, 46% of the renewable electricity was generated from hydro, 26% from wind, 19% from biomass, 9% from solar and 1% from geothermal.

Carbon intensity of the EU28 fuel mix

  • In the light of the fuel shifts observed between 1990 and 2012, public electricity and heat generation in the EU28 became one quarter less carbon intensive[2] in 2012 (566 gCO2 /kWh) than back in 1990 (754 gCO2/kWh) (figure 1). Between 2000 and 2010 the CO2 emission per kWh generated decreased on average by 29% (1.7%/year), due to increased production efficiency and the transition from the use of coal to gas for the generation of public electricity and heat.  Since 2010, however, the CO2‑emission intensity has increased by 2.6%/year, mainly due to an increase in the share of electricity and heat generated from coal and lignite at the expense of gas.

Non-EU EEA member countries

  • In the non-EU EEA member countries Turkey, Island and Norway, electricity generation increased by 120% between 1990 and 2012, at an average rate of 3.7%/year. Between 2005 and 2012, electricity production increased by 4.0%/year compared to 3.5%/year from 1990 to 2005. Renewable (mainly hydro), represents more than half of the electricity production (56%) in these countries, followed by natural gas 27% and coal 16%.

[1] 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-gsa price differentials since during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

[2] Calculated as the ratio CO2 emissions from public electricity and heat production to public electricity and heat generation (see Meta data). 

Is electricity consumption increasing in Europe?

Average annual percentage change in final electricity consumption

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

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Electricity generation

From 1990 to 2012 electricity generation[1] in the EU28 increased by 27%, at an average pace of 1.1%/year. Since 2005 a small decrease of 0.2%/year was observed.

Electricity consumption

Between 1990 and 2012 (final) electricity consumption increased in the EU28 by 29.3% at an average annual growth rate of 1.2%/year (figure 4). Most countries in the EU28 experienced an overall increase in electricity consumption over this period, except for Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia. During this period, the average annual growth rate of electricity consumption varied greatly by country, ranging from ‑1.3%/year in Lithuania to about 4.2%/year in Cyprus and 6.8%/year in Turkey. 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 a decrease or low growth of the population in those countries. While electricity consumption has steadily increased between 1990 and 2008, it has actually decreased after 2008 as a result of the economic recession. Electricity consumption in 2012 was 2.3% below that in 2008 (before the recession).

In the non-EU EEA countries, Turkey, Iceland and Norway, the electricity consumption increased between 1990 and 2012 by 0.4%/year (Norway), 6.7%/year (Iceland) and 6.8%/year (Turkey). The growth of the electricity consumption in non-EU EEA countries was dominated by the increased electricity consumption in Turkey. The high rate in Iceland is caused by a combination of increased production of hydro and geothermal electricity with increased energy intensive industrial activities such as aluminium smelting. In Turkey the high rate is due to the rapid transition to a modernised economy with the associated increase in electricity generation and use. Between 2005 and 2012, there was a continued increase of 11.2%/year for Iceland and 6.1%/year for Turkey; in Norway however the electricity consumption decreased by 0.2%/year.

Electricity consumption by sector

The increase in electricity consumption since 1990 can be traced back to increases of consumption in the services and households sector at 91% and 36%, respectively (see figure 3). Since 2005 electricity consumption in these sectors continued to increase (3% for the household sector and 15.4% for the service sector) while the electricity consumption in industry decreased by 11% over the same period due to improvements in industrial processes and slightly lower activity.

In the year 2012:

  • Industry remained still the largest electricity consuming sector in the EU28 (36% in 2012, compared to 46% in 1990). Between 1990 and 2005, the electricity consumption in the industry sector increased by 0.9%/year; it decreased by 1.7%/year, on average, from 2005 to 2012.
  • The services sector and the households sector come second, each being responsible for one third of all electricity consumption in the EU28:
    • The consumption of electricity in the services sector was 30% in 2012, compared to 20% in 1990. Since 1990, the electricity consumption in the service sector increased by 91.4%, at an average annual growth rate of 3.0%. As such, this is the sector with the fastest growing consumption and a growing importance in terms of value added in Europe. 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 ENER37).
    • Electricity consumption in the households sector amounted to 30% of all electricity consumption in the EU28 in 2012, compared to 28% in 1990. Between 1990 and 2012, the electricity consumption in the household sector grew by 35.9%, at an average annual rate of 1.4%. Between 2005 and 2012, the electricity consumption in the household sector increased by less than 3%. Gains in the energy efficiency of large electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and dryers, were offset by the use, numbers and size of large appliances as well as the growing number of smaller appliances and IT appliances (explanatory factors of the energy consumption of households are shown in ENER37).
  • The transport sector was responsible for 2.3% of all electricity consumption in the EU28 (3% in 1990). Between 1990 and 2012 the electricity consumption in the transport sector hardly grew (1%) in the EU28 countries, at an average annual rate of 0.04%/year. The net small increase was due to increased electrification of Europe’s railways (especially in France and the United Kingdom) and a gradual decrease in electricity consumed for transport purposes in new Member States.
  • Agriculture/forestry/fishing: 1.9% of all electricity consumption in the EU28 (2.6% in 1990). Electricity consumption in these sectors decreased by 0.9%/year over the period 1990-2005 and has been growing since 2005 by 1.4%/year on average (‑0.2%/year over the whole period 1990-2012).

In non-EU EEA countries Turkey, Iceland and Norway, the overall electricity consumption increase observed in all sectors was by 118% between 1990 and 2012, at an average rate of 3.6%/year. In the main sectors the average growth rates recorded between 1990 and 2012 were:

  • Industry: 3.1%/year (3.2%/year between 2005 and 2012),
  • Services: 4.8%/year (4.8%/year between 2005 and 2012), and
  • Households: 3.4%/year (3.5%/year between 2005 and 2012).

For Turkey, Iceland and Norway, electricity consumption in the transport sector and in the agricultural, fishing and forestry sector have in 2012 a share of less than 4%, having increased at an average annual rate of 2.0% (transport) and respectively 7.3% (agricultural, fishing and forestry) between 1990 and 2012, and an annual rate of 2.0% (transport) and 3.5% (agricultural, fishing and forestry) between 2005 and 2012.

Electricity consumption per capita

Electricity consumption per capita increased by 21% in the EU28 between 1990 (4553 kWh/capita) and 2012 (5529 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 (2109 kWh/capita), Lithuania (2970 kWh/capita), Poland (3182 kWh/capita), Hungary (3304 kWh/capita) and Latvia (3349 kWh/capita) and a high per-capita consumption observed in other Member States, including Finland (14951 kWh/capita) and Sweden (13423 kWh/capita). In Sweden this is due to a high penetration of electrical heating linked to low-cost of electricity produced by hydropower (see figure 5 and ENER37). The increasing use of air conditioning in southern European countries contributes also to a large increase in electricity consumption during the summer months.  

Between 1990 and 2012, in non-EU EEA countries the electricity consumption per capita decreased at an average annual rate of -0.2% in Norway and grew rapidly in Turkey and Iceland at an average annual rate of 5.4% and 5.6%, respectively. In 2012 the electricity consumption per capita reached 51258 kWh for Iceland and 21827 kWh for Norway, whereas for Turkey it was one order of magnitude smaller (2581 kWh).


[1] Electricity generation is the gross electricity production and covers gross generation in all types of power plants. For more information see Meta data below.

Are power plants becoming more efficient?

Power generation becomes more efficient in the EU28: the average efficiency has increased from 36% in 1990 to 42% in 2012. The efficiency mainly depends on the mix of power and heat generation:

  • high efficiencies are related to hydro and wind (100% efficiency);
  • low efficiencies are associated with old fossil fuel fired power and/or heat plants (<30%), nuclear power plants (typically 33%) or geothermal power and/or heat generation with efficiencies of around 10% or less.

The EEA member countries with an average power generation efficiency of 50% or more in 2012 are: Norway (99%), Austria (70%), Luxembourg (69%), Croatia (54%), Portugal (53%), Ireland and Latvia (50%).

The largest progressions occurred in Romania and Ireland due to decommissioning of inefficient fossil fuel fired power plants and increased share of hydro and/or wind: in Romania from 23% in 1990 to 37% in 2012; in Ireland from 40% to 53% in 2012.

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Total gross electricity generation covers gross electricity generation in all types of power plants. The gross electricity generation at the 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 utilising the following fuels: coal and lignite, oil, nuclear, natural and derived gas, renewables (wind. hydro. biomass and waste. solar PV 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 own use by electricity producers 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, services (including agriculture and other sectors).

Units

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

Policy context and targets

Context description

Environmental context

This factsheet 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 arising throughout all lifecycle stages, for instance:

  • impacts on climate change and air quality – through the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and air pollutants (e.g. SO2, NOx and PM) arising from combustion processes;
  • impacts on water quality and quantity – through dam construction for hydropower, water retention for energy crops, and water use for cooling of power plants,;
  • direct and indirect impacts on land resources, including natural habitats and ecosystems – through further deforestation in the tropics for the production of bioenergy and 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 – through the extraction of conventional and unconventional fossil fuels.

Most of these impacts tend to be fuel-specific. For instance, nuclear power produces less greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution on a lifecycle basis compared to conventional sources, but carries a certain risk of accidental radioactive releases and management and disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste is problematic. While electricity from natural gas gives rise to approximately 40% less carbon dioxide emissions than coal per unit, and 25 % less carbon dioxide emissions than oil, and contains only marginal quantities of sulphur (see ENER36), increasing the recourse to unconventional gas resources (such as shale gas and coal bed methane) would lead to other specific environmental pressures.

Shares of electricity generation from different fuels in total gross electricity production aim to indicate to what extent there has been a decarbonisation of the electricity generation in Europe. The pressure on the environment and human health from 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 in the period from 2020 to 2030 (COM(2014) 15 final).
    Presents 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.
  • A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (COM(2011) 112 final)
    Presents a roadmap for action in line with a 80-95% greenhouse gas emissions reduction 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.
  • Council adopted on 6 April 2009 the climate-energy legislative 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.The climate action and renewable energy (CARE) package includes the following main policy documents
  • 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
  • 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 (Eco-design)of the European parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements for energy-related products
  • Directive 2010/30/ECof the European parliament and of the Council on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products
  • 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 Emission allowance trading within the community
  • 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
  • Second Strategic Energy Review; COM(2008) 781 final
  • Strategic review on short, medium and long term targets on EU energy security.

 
References

  • COM(2011) 112 final: A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050
  • COM(2010) 639 final: Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
  • COM(2008) 781 final: Second Strategic Energy Review
  • 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, Brussels, 2009
  • EEA (2008) Annual European Community greenhouse gas inventory 1990 – 2006 and inventory report 2008
  • EU (2009) Climate action and renewable energy package (CARE Package); http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/climate_action.htm
  • IEA (2005): Electricity information 2004 – IEA statistics.
  • UN (1998): Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; adopted at COP3 in Kyoto. Japan. on 11 December 1997
  • Treaty of Accession to the European Union. Annex II. Part 12. page 588. which amends Directive 2001/77/EC in order to set targets for new Member States on the contribution of renewable energy to electricity generation.
  • COD/2008/0013 - Proposal for a Directive 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 system of the Community
  • COD/2008/0014 - Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council 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
  • 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 gas emission allowance trading system of the Community
  • COM(2008) 778 final/2 - Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products
  • COM(2008) 781 final - Second Strategic Energy Review
  • SEC(2007) 53 - Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the EU greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system - Summary of the Impact Assessment
  • EEA (2012) Greenhouse gas data viewer, last update June 2012 [http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/data-viewers/greenhouse-gases-viewer]
  • EU (2009) Climate action and renewable energy package (CARE Package)
  • http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/climate_action.htm

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).
  • Climate action and renewable energy package (CARE Package)
    Combating climate change is a top priority for the EU. Europe is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions substantially while encouraging other nations and regions to do likewise.
  • COD/2008/0013
    Proposal for a Directive 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 system of the Community.
  • COD/2008/0014
    Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council 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.
  • 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) 778
    Eco-Design Directive; COM(2008) 778
  • 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
  • DIRECTIVE 2001/77/EC Renewable electricity
    Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market
  • 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
  • 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.
  • SEC(2007) 53
    Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the EU greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system - Summary of the Impact Assessment.
  • 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

Meta data

Technical information

  1. Data source:
    Electricity production by fuel and total gross electricity generation: Eurostat
    Final Electricity Consumption: Eurostat http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ 
  2. Description of data/Indicator definition:
    Total gross electricity generation covers gross electricity generation in all types of power plants. It is the total amount of electrical energy produced by transforming other forms of energy, for example nuclear or wind energy to electrical energy. The gross electricity generation at the 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 utilising the following fuels: coal and lignite; oil; nuclear; natural and derived gas; renewables (wind; hydro; biomass and waste; solar PV 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.
    Units: Electricity generation is measured in either GWh or TWh (1000 GWh)

    Final electricity consumption covers electricity supplied to the final consumer's door for all energy uses, it does not include own use by electricity producers 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, services (including agriculture and other sectors).
    Units: Final electricity consumption is measured in terawatt hours (TWh).
  3. Geographical coverage:
    The Agency had 33 member countries at the time of writing of this fact sheet. These are the 28 European Union Member States and Turkey plus the EFTA countries (Iceland, Switzerland and Norway). Liechtenstein and Iceland are not anymore covered separately by Eurostat.
  4. Temporal coverage: 1990-2012.
  5. 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/metadataMethodology of data manipulation:
  6. 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 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
  • 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 Kerozene: 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 photovoltaic 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
    Electricity consumption per capita calculated by dividing final electricity consumption by population for each country (demo_pjan).
    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 the 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-emission intensity of the public electricity and heat  production
    The CO2-emissions intensity of the public electricity and heat production is calculated as the ratio between CO2-emission from public electricity and heat production (in gCO2) and the public  electricity and heat produced (in kWh). The CO2 emission data (TgCO2) are from the EEA dataviewer for greenhouse gases (http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/data-viewers/greenhouse-gases-viewer). The code is : 1A1a for Public Electricity and Heat production. The CO2-emission data from for 1A1a is for all energy production from Public Electricity Generation, Public CHP and Public Heat Plants. The corresponding activity (ktoe, kiloton of oil equivalent) data are from the Eurostat database:
  • Transformation output - Main Activity Conventional Thermal Power Stations; Electrical Energy; nrg_100a, 6000_B101121
  • Transformation output - Main Activity Conventional Thermal Power Stations; Derived Heat; nrg_100a, 5200_B101121
  • Transformation output - District Heating Plants; All products; nrg_100a; 0_B101109


Qualitative information

  1. Strengths and weaknesses (at data level)
    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 in Eurostat's web page for metadata on energy statistics. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/nrg_quant_esms.htm
  2. Reliability, Accuracy, Robustness, uncertainty (at data level):
    Indicator uncertainty (historic data):
    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 the 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 accounted where the electricity is produced whereas consumption is accounted where the electricity is consumed.
  3. 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 in Eurostat's web page for metadata on energy statistics. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/nrg_quant_esms.htm

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 the 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 accounted where the electricity is produced whereas consumption is accounted where the 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:
1990-2012
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

2012 2.8.1 (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