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.
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
Key policy question: What are the trends concerning the energy mix in gross inland energy consumption Europe?
Total gross inland energy consumption decreased by 1.3%/year since 2005 in EEA countries (-1.7%/year in EU-27); it increased however in non-EU EEA by 3%/year; an opposite trend was observed from 1990 to 2005 with an increase by 0.7%/year from 1990 to 2005 (0.6%/year for EU-27 and 2.4%/year for non-EU EEA). In 2009 the gross energy consumption decreased with the economic crisis by 5.1% in EEA countries, mainly in EU-27 (-5.5%/year compared to -1% in non-EU EEA countries)
Fossil fuels continue to dominate total gross energy consumption in EU-27, but their share is declining: from 83% in 1990 to 77% in 2009. The share of renewable energy sources more than doubled over the period, from 4.3% in 1990 to 9 % in 2009. The share of nuclear energy in total gross inland consumption increased slightly, to 13.6% in 2009 from 12.3 % in 1990.
Primary energy consumption by fuel in the EU-27
Note:Primary energy consumption by fuel in the EU-27
LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) emissions of energy technologies for electricity production
Note:LCA emissions of energy technologies for electricity production. 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.
EEA (2009) - Review and analysis of emissions' life cycle analysis studies in the field of conventional and renewable energy generation technologies. Copenhagen, EEA, February 2009
"Life Cycle Analysis of GHG and Air Pollutant
Emissions from Renewable and Conventional Electricity, Heating, and Transport
Fuel Options in the EU until 2030”, ETC/ACC Technical Paper 2009/18
Between 1990 and 2009, total gross inland energy consumption in EU-27 countries only increased marginally (0.1%/year) and was in 2009 only 2.3% above its 1990 level. Between 2005 and 2009, it decreased by 1.7%/year, with a significant drop in 2009 by 5.5% due to the global economic crisis. For details see Figure 1 and Table 1.
The share of fossil fuels (coal, lignite, oil and natural gas) in gross inland consumption declined slightly from 83 % in 1990 to 77% in 2009 in the EU-27. During this period, the share of renewables in gross inland consumption increased by 4.7 points, from 4.3 % in 1990 to 9 % in 2009 (see also ENER 29) while the share of energy consumption from nuclear increased from 12.3 % (1990) to 13.6% (2009) (see also ENER13). See Figure 2 for details.
Since 2005, renewables were the only growing energy source (+7.1%/year). The consumption of fossil fuels decreased by 2.4% (-4.1%/year for coal, -2.1%/year for oil, -1.7%/year for gas) and that of nuclear by 2.7%.
Between 1990 and 2009, the gross inland consumption in non-EU EEA countries increased by 60%, at an annual average growth rate of 2.5%/year, mainly because of Turkey (+3.5%/year). The trend reversed in 2009 when the gross inland energy consumption in these countries decreased by 1% compared to 2008 due to the economic crisis. Turkey represented in 2009 62% of the total gross inland energy consumption of non-EU EEA member states. The share of renewables and nuclear in the energy mix in these countries in 2009 was different from the EU-27, with a lower share for nuclear (4.5%) and a much higher share for renewables (18.9%); fossil fuels is however almost identical (77%).
Specific policy question: What are the trends concerning the share of solid fuels in total gross inland consumption in Europe?
In EU-27, the share of coal and lignite in gross inland consumption was 15.8 % in 2009, down from around 27.3 % in 1990. Over this period, the absolute consumption of coal and lignite decreased by 40.9 % at an annual average rate of 2.7 % (267.9 Mtoe in 2009). In 2008 and 2009, the decrease in solid fuel consumption was important (7.1% and 12.3% respectively). Solid fuel consumption in the EU-27 has slightly increased from 1999 to 2007 by 0.6%/year on average due to a more or less constant share of coal and lignite in electricity production (see ENER 27 for the electricity production by fuel). This slight increase is partly due to the fact that there was a widening of the gas – coal price differential that benefited to coal and led to a switch from gas to coal in power generation. Increased use of solid fuels has also implications for European import dependency as around 44% of the coal based gross inland consumption was imported in 2009, mostly hard coal – around 95% (see also ENER 12 for details).
In non-EU EEA countries the gross inland consumption from coal and lignite increased by 71%, from 18 Mtoe in 1990 to 31 Mtoe in 2009; the share of solid fuels was 19.3% in 2009 (18% in 1990). Most of the consumption is due to Turkey.
Specific policy question: What are the trends concerning the share of natural gas in total gross inland consumption?
The share of natural gas in total gross inland consumption increased from around 18 % in 1990 to 24.6 % in 2009. Over the period, the consumption in natural gas increased by 40.8% (417 Mtoe in 2009) at an annual average growth rate of 1.8% per year, the second highest rate behind renewables (4.1%year). This is due to switching from coal to gas which occurred in the power generation sector (but not exclusively), triggered by environmental concerns and economic reasons (price differential between coal and gas in 1990s). Between 2005 and 2009 the gross inland consumption of gas decreased by 1.7%/year compared to an increase by 2.8%/year for the period 1990-2005. In 2009, the consumption of natural gas decreased sharply with the economic crisis, at the same rate as total gross inland consumption (-5.5%) (see Figure 2). Natural gas use also has implications for European import dependency as around 64% of the gas-based gross inland consumption was imported in 2009 (see also ENER 12 for details). The increased penetration of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) does not reduce the dependency on imports, but helps in diversifying suppliers. Qatar is the EU's leading supplier of LNG, supplying 35% of all LNG imports in the EU in 2009, followed by Algeria (17.9%), Nigeria (14%), Trinidad and Tobago (13.2%), Egypt (10.9%) and Norway (4.2%).
In non-EU EEA countries the share of natural gas in gross inland consumption increased rapidly and almost quadrupled, from 6.4% in 1990 to 23.1% in 2009 (37 Mtoe in 2009). This trend is mainly due to Turkey that absorbs 78% of the gas consumption of these countries.
(1)  EU-27, LNG imports according to country of origin in 2009 (49.7 bcm in 2009) from Eurostat’s COMEXT database
Specific policy question: What are the trends concerning the share of crude oil and petroleum products in total gross inland consumption?
The share of oil (crude oil and petroleum products) increased until 1998, from around 38 % in 1990 to almost 40% in 1998. It has then been decreasing and reached 36.7 % in 2009 (623 Mtoe in 2009). In absolute terms, consumption increased slowly between 1990 and 2005 (0.5%/year): the increased demand for petrol and diesel in the transport sector was quite offset by a decline in the use of oil for power generation and for thermal uses in the industry and residential sectors. Since 2005, the oil consumption decreased by 2.1%/year partly because of an increase use of biofuels in the transport sector and as a response to high oil price. In 2009, the consumption of oil decreased by 5.4% due to the economic crisis which led for the first time to a decrease in transport demand (see ENER 16). In EU-27, in 2009 around 90% of the crude oil and oil products consumed were imported (see also ENER 12).
In non-EU EEA countries the share of oil in gross inland consumption decreased from 45.3% in 1990 to 34.9% in 2009 (56 Mtoe in 2009).
Specific policy question: What are the trends concerning the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption?
The share of renewables in total gross inland consumption in EU-27increased from 4.3 % in 1990 to 9 % in 2009 (+4.7 points) at an annual average growth rate of 4.1%/year (see also ENER 29). The share of renewables mainly increased since 2005: +2.6 points, which represents more than half of the progression since 1990. Renewables were the fastest growing energy source between 1990 and 2009 due primarily to environmental and security of supply concerns and climate change policies. However, despite increased support at the EU and national level, their contribution in total gross inland consumption remains low at 9% in 2009. Biomass and renewable wastes represent the main part of renewable in gross energy consumption (69%) or 6.2% of the gross inland energy consumption, due to a growing energy consumption (+ 7.8%/year since 2005). Hydro represents 18% of the renewable inland consumption (or 1.7% of the total gross inland consumption) in 2009; this consumption has increased by 1.8%/year since 2005. Wind, geothermal and solar represent respectively 7%, 4% and 2% of the renewable energy consumption in 2009 (0.7%, 0.3% and 0.1% of the gross inland energy consumption).
Gross electricity consumption from renewables increased by 3.6 %/year from 1990 to 2009, and by 6%/year between 2005 and 2009; the share of renewables in gross electricity production increased from 12.6% in 1990 to 19.6% in 2009; since 2005 electricity production from wind increased by 17.2%/year, and by 76.3%/year for solar (hydro production increased less rapidly, by 1.3%/year) (see also ENER 27).
In non-EU EEA countries the share of renewable in gross inland consumption decreased from 25.8% in 1990 to 18.9% in 2009; this consumption increased by 17% between 1990 to 2009 (30 Mtoe in 1990) but at a lower rate than the total gross inland consumption (60%).
Specific policy question: What are the trends concerning the share of nuclear energy in total gross inland consumption?
The share of nuclear energy increased until 2002 from 12.3 % in 1990 to 14.6% in 2002: it has then been slowly decreasing (13.6 % in 2009). In absolute terms, consumption of nuclear energy increased until 2005 (+1.5%/year between 1990 and 2005) and is now decreasing (-2.7%/year between 2005 and 2009), because of the shutdown of reactors in several countries (Lithuania in 2009, Bulgaria in 2006 and Slovakia in 2006 and 2008). In non-EU EEA countries the share of nuclear in gross inland consumption was 4.5% in 2009 (6.1% in 1990); this consumption increased by 17%. Switzerland is the only non-EU EEA country with nuclear.
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.
No rationale references
Policy context and targets
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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