Personal tools

next
previous
items

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Renewable primary energy consumption / Renewable primary energy consumption (CSI 030/ENER 029) - Assessment published Aug 2011

Renewable primary energy consumption (CSI 030/ENER 029) - Assessment published Aug 2011

Indicator Assessment Created 08 Aug 2011 Published 10 Aug 2011 Last modified 11 Apr 2012, 04:17 PM
Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
renewable energy | energy | energy consumption | csi
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 030
  • ENER 029
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2008
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Indicator definition

The share of renewable energy consumption is the ratio between gross inland energy consumption from renewable sources (TOE) and total gross inland energy consumption (TOE) calculated for a calendar year, expressed as a percentage. Both renewable energy and total energy consumption are measured in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe).

Renewable energy sources are defined as renewable non-fossil sources: wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases.
Projections are for 2020-2030 from the POLES (IPTS) Baseline and GHG Reduction Scenario (Mitigation), from PRIMES 2009 Baseline and Reference scenarios and from the WEO 2009 (IEA) Reference and 450 Scenario

Units

Both, renewable energy and total primary energy consumption are measured in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). Therefore, the amount of renewable energy is measured in absolute value, but will be presented in the form of a percentage.


Key policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy in total gross energy inland consumption is increasing in Europe?

Key messages

The share of renewable energy sources in gross inland energy consumption (GEIC) increased in the EU-27 from 4.4% in 1990 to 8.4% in 2008. The main contributor is biomass and wastes (5.8% of the GEIC), following by hydro (1.6%) and wind (0.6%). Because the gross inland energy consumption of the EU-27 increased by 8.3% between 1990 and 2008, some of the environmental benefits (e.g. reductions in GHG emissions and air pollution) brought about by an increased share of renewable energy sources were offset.

In 2008, the share of renewable energy in total gross inland consumption in EU-15 was 8.6%, hence a significant effort will be needed to meet the indicative target of 12 % share of renewables by 2010.

Contribution of renewable energy sources to primary energy consumption in the EU-27

Note: The contribution of renewable energy sources to gross energy inland consumption (GEIC) increased in the EU-27 from 4.4 % in 1990 to 8.4 % in 2008. For the EU-15, the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption accounted for 8.6%, in 2008, falling substantially short of the indicative target set in the White Paper on renewable energy (COM(97) 599 final) of 12 % by 2010

Data source:

Eurostat 2010.  Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption, annual data:

  • All products
  • Renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes)
  • Rrenewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)
  • Renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)

Tables available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Total primary energy consumption by energy source in 2008, EU-27

Note: The figure shows the total primary energy consumption by energy source in 2008. The contribution of renewable energy sources to gross energy inland consumption (GEIC) increased in the EU-27 from 4.4 % in 1990 to 8.4 % in 2008. For the EU-15, the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption accounted for 8.6%, in 2008, falling substantially short of the indicative target set in the White Paper on renewable energy (COM(97) 599 final) of 12 % by 2010

Data source:

Eurostat 2010.  Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption:

  • all products  - annual data.
  • renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes)  - annual data.
  • renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)  - annual data.

Tables available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Annual average growth rates in renewable energy consumption (%), EU-27

Note: The figure shows the annual average growth rates in renewable energy consumption (%), EU-27

Data source:

Eurostat.  Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption

  • all products  - annual data.
  • renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes)  - annual data.
  • renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)  - annual data.

Tables available at:http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Share of renewable energy in total gross energy inland consumption (in %)

Note: The table shows the share of renewable energy in total gross energy inland consumption (in %)

Data source:

Eurostat 2010.  Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption:

  • all products  - annual data
  • renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes)  - annual data.
  •  renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)  - annual data.

Table available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

IEA. Total primary energy supply by product: IEA: http://data.iea.org/IEASTORE/DEFAULT.ASP

 

Downloads and more info

Share of RE in GEIC, compared to target in COM(97) 599 final (%, in 2008)

Note: Share of RE (RE: renewable energy) in GEIC (GEIC: gross energy inland consumption), compared to target in COM(97) 599 final (%, in 2008). The White Paper on renewable energy (COM(97) 599 final) sets an indicative target of 12 % of renewables in total GEIC in the EU-15 by 2010. The contribution of renewable energy sources to GEIC in EU-15 was 8.6 % in 2008, falling significantly short of the 12% indicative target

Data source:

Eurostat 2010.  Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption

  • all products  - annual data.
  •  renewables and wastes (total, solar heat, biomass, geothermal, wastes)  - annual data.
  •  renewables (hydro, wind, photovoltaic)  - annual data.

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

  • The contribution of renewable energy sources to gross energy inland consumption (GEIC) increased in the EU-27 from 4.4 % in 1990 to 8.4 % in 2008. For the EU-15, the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption accounted for 8.6%, in 2008, falling substantially short of the indicative target set in the White Paper on renewable energy (COM(97) 599 final) of 12 % by 2010 (see Figures 1,2,3).
  • The fastest progression in the share of renewables in total gross inland consumption in the last five years is observed in Sweden (+6.9 points compared to +2.4 points for the EU-27), Austria (+6.5 points), Denmark and Germany (+4.7 points) (Table figure 4).
  • Between 1990 and 2008 the total renewable energy consumption more than doubled in the EU-27 (+108% corresponding to an average growth rate of 4.2 %/year). The progression was much more rapid in recent years, as it increased to around 7%/year from 2003 to 2008 (see Figure 3). Wind and solar PV showed very high growth rates between 1990 and 2008 of respectively 32% and 46.2 %, followed by solar thermal with 11.5%.
  • The non-EU EEA countries[1] showed a moderate increase (21 % or 1.1%/year) in total renewable energy consumption between 1990 and 2008. Given the rapid progression of the total gross energy inland consumption in these countries (+61%), mainly driven by Turkey, the share of renewable energy in GIEC decreased from 25.7 % in 1990 to 19.3 % in 2008. Almost 60% of the renewable energy consumption is hydropower, followed by biomass and waste, which account for approximately 26% of the renewable energy consumption in non-EU EEA countries, following by geothermal with 13%.


[1] Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey

Specific policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy from biomass and waste increasing in Europe?

Specific assessment

    • In 2008, renewable energy from biomass and waste accounted for the largest share in total renewable energy (around 70 %) and the largest in GEIC (5.8%). Between 1990 and 2008, the share of renewable energy from biomass and waste increased by 139 % in the EU-27, at an average annual growth of 5 %. Biomass and wastes are used to produce electricity and heat and as biofuels for transport. It is also seen as one of the main areas for future growth in renewable energy.
    • The more rapid increase in renewable energy from biomass and waste was mainly observed from 2003 to 2008, with an average annual growth of 8%.
    • Wood and wastes represent the bulk of biomass and wastes consumption in the EU-27 with 68% of the total in 2008, followed by municipal wastes with 14%, biofuels with 11% and biogas with 7%.

 

    Specific policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy from hydro increasing in Europe?

    Specific assessment

    • In EU 27 as a whole, hydropower consumption increased by 12.1 % over the period 1990-2008 at an average annual growth rate of 0.6 %. Hydropower production has fluctuated substantially in recent years as a result of changing rainfall patterns. In 2008, the share of hydropower was 18.6 % of total renewable energy and 1.6 % of GEIC in the EU-27. Energy consumption from hydropower is not expected to increase significantly in the future due to environmental concerns and a lack of suitable sites. For example, the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) places a strong emphasis on achieving a good environmental status of European rivers, hence future construction of new hydro-power plants (particularly small-scale hydro) will need to take these constraints into account (link with the workshop report on methodology to assess the small-scale hydro potential ) (see Figures 1 and 3).
        In 2008 the total hydropower consumed increased by 5.6% (after 0.5% in 2007).

    Specific policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy from wind increasing in Europe?

    Specific assessment

    • Between 1990 and 2008, wind energy in the EU-27 grew by a factor of 152 at an annual growth rate of 32.2 %. This development was largely due to strong growth in Spain and Germany, which together accounted for more than 60 % of all the EU-27 wind production in 2008 (respectively 27% and 34% of the EU production). Wind power is a fast-growing energy source, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the EU-27, particularly as offshore developments take off. At present however, wind energy accounts for only 0.56 % of EU-27 GEIC and 6.7 % of renewable energy consumption in the EU-27 (see Figures 1 and 3).

    Specific policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy from solar increasing in Europe?

    Specific assessment

    • Between 1990 and 2008, renewable energy from solar (both PV and solar thermal) in the EU-27 was multiplied by a factor 11.3, at an average annual growth rate of 14.4 %. Solar thermal energy developments in Austria, Germany and Greece benefited greatly from proactive government policy coupled with subsidy schemes and communication strategies that emphasised the benefits of solar thermal. In 2006, Spain passed a law making solar panels compulsory in new and renovated buildings (this resulted in a 157 % annual increase in 2008, 65 % in 2007, compared to 28 % in 2006). Most of the solar output in 2008 came from Germany (43%), Spain (20%) and Greece (10%). In most Member States solar energy comes from solar thermal energy, rather than electricity generated using photovoltaic (PV) cells. At present the use of PV cells is limited due to relatively high production and installation costs, but represent a medium- to long-term opportunity as costs are beginning to fall (JRC, 2004). Solar energy accounted for 1.1 % of total renewable energy consumption and only 0.1 % of GEIC in 2008 (see Figures 1 and 3).

    • Between 2007 and 2008 solar energy grew by 36.7 % (27.9% in 2007), a much faster pace than preceding years.

    Specific policy question: How fast is the share of renewable energy from geothermal increasing in Europe?

    Specific assessment

    • Between 1990 and 2008, the consumption of geothermal energy (both electricity and heat) increased by 81 % in the EU-27, at an average annual growth of 3.4 %. The use of geothermal schemes depends on the quality (temperature and density) of the heat available. Geothermal energy contributed only 3.8 % to renewable energy consumption and 0.3 % of GEIC in the EU-27 in 2008, with Italy accounting for around 86 % of the total amount of consumed geothermal energy (see Figures 1 and 3).

    Data sources

    Policy context and targets

    Context description

    Environmental context

    The share of electricity consumption from renewable energy sources provides a broad indication of progress towards reducing the environmental impact of electricity consumption on the environment as renewable electricity is generally considered to have lower life-cycle environmental impact per unit of electricity produced than fossil-fuelled power plants. Increasing the share of renewables in electricity consumption will help the EU to reduce the GHG emissions from power generation but the overall impact will depend on which generation sources are being replaced in the energy system.

    Emissions of air pollutants are also generally lower for renewable electricity production than for electricity produced from fossil fuels. The exception to this is the incineration of Municipal and Solid Waste (MSW), which due to high costs of separation, usually involves the combustion of some mixed wastes including materials contaminated with heavy metals. Emissions to the atmosphere from MSW incineration are subject to stringent regulations including tight controls on emissions of cadmium, mercury, and other such substances.

    The exploitation of renewable energy sources may have negative impacts on landscapes, habitats and ecosystems, although many impacts can be minimised through careful site selection. Hydropower schemes in particular can have adverse impacts including flooding, disruption of ecosystems and hydrology, and socio-economic impacts if resettlement is required (for large hydro). Some solar photovoltaic schemes require relatively large quantities of heavy metals in their construction and geothermal energy can release pollutant gases carried by hot fluids if not properly controlled. Wind turbines can have visual impacts on the areas in which they are sited. Some types of biomass and biofuel crops have considerable land, water and agricultural input requirements such as fertilisers and pesticides.

    Policy context

    For the EU-15, the share of renewables in total gross inland energy consumption accounted for 9%, in 2009, falling substantially short of the indicative target set in the White Paper on renewable energy (COM(97) 599 final) of 12 % by 2010 (see Figures 1,2,3).
     
    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

      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.

      Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-plan); COM(2007) 723. Focuses on increasing the competitiveness of new renewable energy technologies. It aims at identifying technologies that require better coordination of Member State policies or the development of public-private partnerships with the industry.

      White Paper: Energy for the future - renewable sources of energy; COM(97) 599 final. Sets a target for the EU-15 countries for a share of 12 % RE in GEIC.

      Directive on  Waste; Directive 2006/12/EC. it requires all EU Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure that waste is treated and disposed of correctly, sets targets for re-use and recycling, and requires Member States to draw up binding national programmes for waste prevention.

      Targets

      The European Commission published a White Paper in 1997 (COM(97) 599 final) setting out a Community strategy for achieving a 12% share of renewables in total gross inland energy consumption (GIEC) in the EU-15 by 2010. The decision was motivated by concerns about security of supply and environmental protection. The contribution of renewable energy sources to GEIC in EU-15 was 8.6 % in 2008, falling significantly short of the 12% indicative target (see Figure 4 and Table 1).

      The 12% target was adopted in a 2001 directive on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources, which also included a 22.1% target for electricity for the EU-15. As can be seen in Figure 4 already five countries reached their target (Sweden, Austria, Finland, Portugal and Denmark). The other ten are still significantly below the target, especially the UK, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece.

      In January 2007, the Commission published a Renewable Energy Roadmap outlining a long-term strategy. It called for a mandatory target of a 20% share of renewable energies in the EU's energy mix by 2020. The target was endorsed by EU leaders in March 2007. To achieve this objective, the EU adopted a new Renewables Directive in April 2009 (2009/28/EC), which set individual targets for each member state.

      Related policy documents

      • 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.
      • 2006/12/EC
        Directive on  Waste
      • 2008/101/EC
        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
      • 2008/c 82/01
        Community guidelines on state aid for environmental protection (2008/c 82/01)
      • 2009/28/EC
        Directive 2009/28/ec of the European parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
      • 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.
      • COM(97) 599 final. Energy for the future.
        Energy for the future: Renewable sources of energy. White Paper for a Community strategy and action plan. COM(97) 599 final.
      • COM(2007) 18 final
        Directive on GHG emissions of fuels and biofuels; COM(2007) 18 final/2
      • COM(2007) 723
        Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-plan); COM(2007) 723
      • 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 2003/30/EC, use of biofuels and renewable fuels
        Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport. Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport.
      • Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC
        Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC: Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

      Methodology

      Methodology for indicator calculation

      Methodology and frequency of data collection

      Data collected annually.
      Eurostat definitions and concepts for energy statistics http://circa.europa.eu/irc/dsis/coded/info/data/coded/en/Theme9.htm

      Methodology of data manipulation

      Renewable energy consumption is the ratio between the gross inland energy consumption from renewable sources and the total gross inland energy consumption calculated for a calendar year.
      The coding (used in the Eurostat New Cronos database) and specific components of the indicator are:

      • Numerator: solar energy 5530 gross inland energy consumption 100900 + biomass and waste 5540 gross inland consumption 100900 + geothermal energy 5550 energy  inland consumption 100900 + hydropower 5510 gross inland energy consumption 100900 + wind energy 5520 gross inland energy consumption 100900.
      • Denominator: (total) gross energy inland consumption 100900

      Average annual rate of growth calculated using: [(last year/base year) ^ (1/number of years) –1]*100

      Solar-thermal: 100900 Gross inland energy consumption (5530 solar energy) – 100100 Primary production (5534 Photovoltaic power)

      IEA data:
      Report ‘Energy balances Non-OECD countries’ and ‘Energy balances OECD countries’, table ‘Energy balances (ktoe)’, products ‘Hydro’, ‘Geothermal’, ‘Solar/Wind/Other’, ‘Combustible renewables and waste’ and ‘Total’, flow ‘Total Primary Energy Supply’.

      Projections:
      POLES IPTS 2009: Gross inland energy consumption Other (EJ)/Gross inland consumption Total (EJ)
      WEO 2009: Primary energy demand Biomass and waste (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)

      • Primary energy demand Hydro (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)
      • Primary energy demand Other renewables (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)

      PRIMES 2009: Primary energy demand Biomass and waste (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)

      • Primary energy demand Hydro (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)
      • Primary energy demand Wind (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)
      • Primary energy demand Other renewables  [solar & others, geothermal ] (Mtoe)/Total primary energy demand (Mtoe)

      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. No energy data available for Iceland in 2007-2009 (Iceland do not appear in the graphs or tables).
      Data for World, United States, China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Africa

      Temporal coverage
      1990-2009, projections 2020-2030

      Data source

      Methodology for gap filling

      No gap filling necessary.

      Methodology references

      No methodology references available.

      Uncertainties

      Methodology 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 industry.

      The indicator measures the relative consumption of energy from renewable sources in total energy consumption for a particular country. The share of renewable energy could increase even if the actual energy consumption from renewable sources falls. Similarly, the share could fall despite an increase in energy consumption from renewable sources. CO2 emissions depend not on the share of renewables but on the total amount of energy consumed from fossil sources. Therefore, from an environmental point of view, attaining the 2010 target for the share of renewable energy does not necessarily imply that CO2 emissions from energy consumption will fall.

      Data sets uncertainty

      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_sm1.htm See also information related to the Energy Statistics Regulation http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5431232

      Rationale uncertainty

       

      More information about this indicator

      See this indicator specification for more details.

      Contacts and ownership

      EEA Contact Info

      Mihai Florin Tomescu

      Ownership

      EEA Management Plan

      2010 2.8.1 (note: EEA internal system)

      Dates

      Frequency of updates

      Updates are scheduled once per year

      Comments

      European Environment Agency (EEA)
      Kongens Nytorv 6
      1050 Copenhagen K
      Denmark
      Phone: +45 3336 7100