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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Primary energy consumption by fuel

Primary energy consumption by fuel

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Contents
 

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
  • No published assessments

Justification for indicator selection

The level, the evolution as well as the structure of the total gross inland energy consumption provide an indication of the extent  environmental pressures caused by energy production and consumption are likely to diminish or not. The type and magnitude of the environmental impacts associated with energy consumption, such as resource depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutant emissions, water pollution, accumulation of radioactive waste, etc., strongly depend on the type and amount of fuel consumed as well as abatement technologies applied. The indicator displays data disaggregated by fuel type as the associated environmental impacts are fuel-specific.

The consumption of fossil fuels (such as crude oil, oil products, hard coal, lignite and natural and derived gas) provides a proxy indicator for resource depletion, CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution levels (e.g. SO2 and NOX), water pollution and biodiversity loss. The degree of environmental impact depends on the relative share of different fossil fuels and the extent to which pollution abatement measures are used. Natural gas, for instance, has approximately 40 % less carbon than coal per unit of energy content, and 25 % less carbon content than oil, and contains only marginal quantities of sulphur.
The level of nuclear energy consumption provides an indication of the trends in the amount of nuclear waste generated and of the risks associated with radioactive leaks and accidents. Increasing consumption of nuclear energy at the expense of fossil fuels would on the other hand contributes to reductions in CO2 emissions.
Renewable energy consumption is a measure of the contribution from technologies that are, in general, more environmentally benign, as they produce no (or very little) net CO2 and usually significantly lower levels of other pollutants. Renewable energy can, however, have impacts on landscapes and ecosystems (for example, potential flooding and changed water levels from large hydro power) and the incineration of municipal waste (which is generally made up of both renewable and non-renewable material) may also generate local air pollution.

Scientific references:

  • COD/2007/0297 COD/2007/0297 - Proposal for a Regulation 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
  • COD/2008/0013 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 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(2007) 18 final/2 COM(2007) 18 final/2 - Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of road transport fuels and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC, as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC
  • COM(2008) 778 final/2 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 COM(2008) 781 final - Second Strategic Energy Review
  • Directive 2001/80/EC Directive 2001/80/EC - Directive on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants
  • Directive 2002/91/EC Directive 2002/91/EC - Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings
  • Directive 2005/32/EC Directive 2005/32/EC - Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Counci
  • Directive 2009/28/EC 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
  • EU (2009) Climate action and renewable energy package (CARE Package) http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/energy-package http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/climate_action.htm
  • UNFCCC (1997) Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997

Indicator definition

Total energy consumption or gross inland energy consumption represents the quantity of energy necessary to satisfy the inland consumption of a country. It is calculated as the sum of the gross inland consumption of energy from solid fuels, oil, gas, nuclear and renewable sources, and a small component of ‘other’ sources (industrial waste and net imports of electricity). The relative contribution of a specific fuel is measured by the ratio between the energy consumption originating from that specific fuel and the total gross inland energy consumption calculated for a calendar year.

Units

Energy consumption is measured in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). The share of each fuel in total energy consumption is presented in the form of a percentage.

 

Projections are for 2020-2030 from the POLES (IPTS) Baseline and GHG Reduction Scenario, from the WEO 2009 (IEA) Reference and 450 Stabilization Case and from PRIMES (EC) Baseline and Reference scenarios

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

Environmental context

The level, the evolution as well as the structure of the total gross inland energy consumption provide an indication of the extent  environmental pressures caused by energy production and consumption are likely to diminish or not. The indicator displays data disaggregated by fuel type as the associated environmental impacts are fuel-specific.

The consumption of fossil fuels (such as crude oil, oil products, hard coal, lignite and natural and natural  gas)  has a number of negative effects on the environment and human health , CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution levels (e.g. SO2 and NOX), water pollution and biodiversity loss. These effects are fuel-specific.. For instance, natural gas, for instance, has approximately 40 % less carbon than coal per unit of energy content, and 25 % less carbon content than oil, and contains only marginal quantities of sulphur (see Figure 3 below). There are other environmental pressures coming from energy production: air pollution, land –use changes and crop-escape (that could result in large scale introduction of invasive species) from biomass, surface and groundwater pollution, ecosystem services and biodiversity loss, etc. The pressure on the environment and human health from energy consumption can be diminished by decreasing energy consumption and switching to energy sources that have a lower impact on the environment and human health.While nuclear power produces less greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution over the life cycle compared to conventional sources, there is a risk of accidental radioactive releases, and highly radioactive waste (for which no generally acceptable disposal route has yet been established) is accumulating.


Policy context

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 Efficiency Plan 2011 (COM(2011) 109 final)
Proposes additional measures to achieve the 20 % primary energy saving target by 2020.

Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy (COM(2010) 639 final)
Energy efficiency is the first of 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
  • 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


Large Combustion Plant Directive; Directive 2001/80/EC
Aims to control emissions of SO2, NOx and particulate matter from large combustion plants (> 50 MW).

Second Strategic Energy Review; COM(2008) 781 final
Strategic review on short, medium and long term targets on EU energy security.

Eco-Design Directive; COM(2008) 778 final/2
Directive on intensification of existing regulation on energy-efficiency of products.

Energy Performance Buildings Directive; Directive 2002/91/EC
The Member States must apply minimum requirements as regards the energy performance of new and existing buildings, ensure the certification of their energy performance and require the regular inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems in buildings.

Energy Performance Buildings Directive (recast); Directive 2010/31/EU
Strengthens the energy performance requirements of the 2002 Directive.

Directive on GHG emissions of fuels and biofuels; COM(2007) 18 final/2
Sets targets for the GHG emissions from different fuel types (e.g. by improving refinery technologies) and allows the blending of up to 10 % of biofuels into diesel and petrol.

Targets

Related policy documents

Key policy question

What are the trends concerning the energy mix in gross inland energy consumption Europe?

Specific policy question

What are the trends concerning the share of solid fuels in total gross inland consumption in Europe?

Specific policy question

What are the trends concerning the share of natural gas in total gross inland consumption?

Specific policy question

What are the trends concerning the share of crude oil and petroleum products in total gross inland consumption?

Specific policy question

What are the trends concerning the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption?

Specific policy question

What are the trends concerning the share of nuclear energy in total gross inland consumption?

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Methodology of data manipulation:
Average annual rate of growth calculated using: [(last year/base year) ^ (1/number of years) –1]*100
The coding (used in the Eurostat New Cronos database) and specific components of the indicator are:

  • Numerator: solid fuels 2000 gross inland consumption 100900 + oil 3000 gross inland consumption 100900 + gas 4000 gross inland consumption 100900 + nuclear energy 5100 gross inland consumption 100900 + renewable energies 5500 gross inland consumption 100900 + industrial waste 7100 gross inland consumption + 6000 electrical energy 100900 gross inland consumption.
  • Denominator: (total) gross inland consumption (of energy) 100900

Geographical coverage:
The Agency had 32 member countries at the time of writing of this fact sheet. These are the 27 European Union Member States and Turkey, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Temporal coverage: 1990-2009

Methodology and frequency of data collection:
Data collected annually.
Eurostat definitions for energy statistics http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/nrg_quant_esms.htm

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling necessary

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

External data references

Data sources in latest figures

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

The share of energy consumption for a particular fuel could decrease even though the actual amount of energy used from that fuel grows, as the development of the share for a particular fuel depends on the change in its consumption relative to the total consumption of energy.

From an environmental point of view, however, the relative contribution of each fuel has to be put in the wider context. Absolute (as opposed to relative) volumes of energy consumption for each fuel are the key to understanding the environmental pressures. These depend on the total amount of energy consumption as well as on the fuel mix used and the extent to which pollution abatement technologies are used.

Total energy consumption may not accurately represent the energy needs of a country (in terms of final energy demand). Fuel switching may in some cases have a significant effect in changing total energy consumption even though there is no change in (final) energy demand. This is because different fuels and different technologies convert primary energy into useful energy with different efficiency rates.

Data sets uncertainty

Officially reported data, updated annually. No obvious weaknesses.

Data have 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

 

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

Work description

None work foreseen by Eurostat. The EEA has currently no plans to undertake an immediate revision of the indicator. However, the work in the medium term would be based on the need to reduce the inherent uncertainties from using/interpreting the indicator as currently defined (see the uncertainty sections).

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified

Status

Not started

Deadline

2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anca-Diana Barbu

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
CSI 029
ENER 026
Specification
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Energy Energy

Permalinks

Permalink to this version
ea83da85a224fb44c55b18ee00412e39
Permalink to latest version
MP742G2JU3

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in October-December (Q4)

Classification

DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

Related content

Data references used

Relevant policy documents

Geographical coverage

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