Renewable gross final energy consumption (ENER 028) - Assessment published Jan 2011
Energy (Primary topic)
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
- ENER 028
Key policy question: How rapidly are renewable technologies being implemented in Europe?
In 2007, the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption (with normalised hydro) in the EU-27 was 10.0 % (up from 6.7 % in 1993), representing half of the 20 % target set in the new EU directive on renewable energy for 2020. Renewable energies represented in 2007, 11.6% of total final heat consumption (up from 7.6% in 1993), 16.3% of electricity consumption (up from 12.8% in 1993) and 2.6% of transport fuels consumption. In the EEA countries, the share of renewable energy in total gross final energy consumption was 11.3% in 2007.
- The overall share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption includes consumption of electricity and heat from renewable energy sources as well as biofuels consumption.
- The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption in the EU-27 increased from 6.7 % in 1993 to 10.0 % in 2007(see Figure 1). In EU-27 countries, the largest growth from 1993 to 2007 can be observed in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, the frontrunners being Estonia (12.0 %) and Denmark (10.3 %). A decline in the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption in this period was observed in Portugal, France and Greece. In these countries, absolute consumption of renewables increased from 1990 to 2007, but at a less rapid rate than total energy consumption which explains the declining share of renewables in total final energy consumption.
- The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption across all EEA countries in 2007 was 11.3 %. The higher number for the whole EEA is caused by the high share of renewables in Norway and Iceland, with 59.4 % and 53.6 % respectively.
- Between 1993 and 2007, the average annual growth rate of the share of renewables in final energy consumption in EU-27 was 3.5 % while the total increase in renewable consumption was 61.3 %.
Specific policy question: How rapidly are renewable energies being consumed in electricity, heat and transport sectors?
- In 2007, renewable electricity (with normalised hydropower) accounted for 40.0 % of renewable energy consumption in EU-27, share that has remained largely constant since 1993. In total, renewable electricity consumption increased by 61.4 % since 1993, with an average annual growth rate of 3.5 %. The largest average annual growth rates were seen in Hungary (15.7 %), Denmark (13.9 %) and the Netherlands (13.4 %). The largest portion of renewable electricity in EU-27 is generated from hydropower, although its share is slowly declining from 92.2 % in 1993 to 60.7 % in 2007. The average annual growth rate over the period 1993-2007 was 0.5 %. Other renewables also showed a strong increase between 1993 and 2007, with an average annual growth of 16.3 %. In 2007, 47.2 % of non-hydro renewable electricity was generated from biomass and 48.4 % from wind. The largest average annual growth rates of non-hydro renewable electricity between 1993 and 2007 were observed in Ireland (42.3 %), Hungary (25.3 %) and Germany (23.4 %). In the case of Ireland and Hungary, the high rate is explained by the fact that both countries had very low shares in 1993.
- Between 1993 and 2007, renewable heat consumption increased by 33.3 %, at an average annual rate of 2.1 %. In 2007, the biomass-derived residual heat from large CHP and heat plants accounted for 6.5 % of the total final renewable energy consumption, representing an almost threefold increase since 1993. The main producers of biomass-derived heat are the Sweden (34%), Finland (16.9%), Germany (14.7%) and Denmark (12.3%), which together accounted for 77.9 % of the total biomass use for heat production in CHP and heat plants in 2007. Heat consumption from other renewable sources such as solar, geothermal sources, waste and biomass represented 46.8 % of final renewable energy consumption in 2007.
- In 2007, the share of biofuels in transportation fuels consumed remained modest at 2.6 % in EU-27. This is well below the proposed target of 10 % in 2020, but nevertheless represents a steep increase compared to year 2000, when the share was approximately 0.24% of all transport fuels. In 2007, Germany had the largest share of biofuels in total consumption of transportation fuels, amounting to 8.4%. Roughly half of the EU-27 countries have a share of less than 1 % but steep increases occurred particularly between 2006 and 2007. Germany is by far the largest consumer of biofuels, accounting for 50.7 % of total biofuel consumption in the EU-27, followed by France with 18.7 %. However, recent policy developments such as reduced tax exemptions for biofuels and introduction of a quota system with a level lower than expected are likely to temper further development of biofuels in Germany, in the near future. (see also CSI 037)
 The method used here for calculating the contribution of hydropower differs from that employed in ENER 30. Here, differences in rainfall are compensated by using a weighted average load factor for the past 15 years instead of the actual production that is used in ENER 30.
 Includes residual heat from power plants and industry that can be attributed to the use of biomass and excludes residual heat from biomass-based large CHP and heat plants
 The target of 10% applies to each of the Member Statse but the target now foresees also the contribution of electricity, therefore does not refer specifically only to biofuels.
Specific policy question: What are the observed trends in renewable heat consumption in sectors (industry, households, services, etc)?
Between 1993 and 2007, in EU-27 renewable heat consumption increased by 46.9% in the industry sector and by 27.3 % in other sectors (households, services, etc). Sweden and Finland are large industrial renewable heat consumers, accounting for 39.8% of total EU-27 industrial consumption of renewable heat. Due to the presence of large wood industries (pulp and paper), both countries have a large feedstock of black liquor which is used to produce industrial heat. France, Turkey and Germany are amongst the countries with highest consumption of renewable heat in other sectors (households, services, etc). Romania, the Czech Republic and Germany contributed most to the absolute growth in consumption of renewable heat in the others sectors. Turkey showed a large decline in use of renewables for heat production (-18.3 %) between 1993 and 2007. This is due in part to a transition of wood fuelled domestic heating systems to other types of heating systems.
Energy statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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