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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Total primary energy intensity / Total primary energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017) - Assessment published Feb 2013

Total primary energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017) - Assessment published Feb 2013

Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
gdp | energy | energy consumption | energy intensity
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 028
  • ENER 017
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2012
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Has there been an absolute decoupling in Europe between economic growth and energy consumption?

Key messages

Total primary energy intensity in the EU-27 decreased by 1.5% per year from 1990 to 2010. In 2010, the total primary energy intensity in the EU-27 was 26% below the 1990 level.

In 2010, the economic growth of the EU-27 rebounded (+2.2% compared to 2009) and energy consumption increased even more rapidly (+3.3% compared to 2009). As a consequence, total primary energy intensity increased in 2010 for the first time since 2003 (+1.1%).

Over the period 2005-2010, the primary energy intensity decreased by 1.6%/year in the EU-27, but this includes the effect of the significant reduction in primary energy consumption and GDP during 2009.

In non-EU EEA countries, the primary energy intensity was in 2010 roughly at the same level as in 1990; however, between 2005 and 2010, the primary energy intensity increased by 1.5%/year in these countries.

Total energy intensity, relative energy intensity (as PPS) and per capita consumption

Note: Total energy intensity (index 1995=100), relative energy intensity (as PPS) and per capita consumption

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Total primary energy consumption in the EU-27 grew at an average annual rate of 0.3% over the period from 1990 to 2010 (see ENER 26), while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in constant prices grew at an average annual rate of 1.8%. As a result, total energy intensity in the EU-27 fell at an average rate of 1.5% per year during the same period (see Figure 1).

From 2005 to 2010, the total primary energy consumption in EU-27 decreased on average by 0.7%/year while GDP increased by 0.9%/year; as a consequence, the energy intensity decreased by 1.6%/year during this period, i.e. twice slower than over 1996-2000. Since 2005, and especially since 2009, trends have been quite erratic. 

In 2010, the total primary energy intensity of the EU-27 was 26% below the 1990 level. About half of this reduction was observed between 1996 and 2000 period characterised by a strong economic growth and a rather  tamed energy consumption. In 2010, the economic growth rebounded in the EU-27 (+2.2%compared to 2009) with energy consumption increasing even more rapidly (+3.3% compared to 2009 levels). As a consequence, total primary energy intensity increased for the first time since 2003 (+1.1%).

In non-EU EEA countries, the primary energy intensity in 2010 was roughly at the same level as in 1990. It decreased significantly during the period 1997-2005 (by 1.1%/year) and has increased since then (by 1.5%/year).

The reduction of total energy intensity has been influenced both by improvements in energy efficiency (for final users and for power generation), shift to renewables in the power mix and structural changes within the economy. The latter included a shift from industry towards services and a shift within the industrial sector from energy intensive industries towards higher value added less energy intensive industries.

In 2010, there were significant differences in primary energy intensity (measured in purchasing power standards relative to the EU-27) among the EU-27 Member States. The highest primary energy intensity was observed in Estonia, Finland, Bulgaria and Czech Republic, due to the presence of energy intensive industries (e.g. pulp and paper in Finland, heavy machinery and iron and steel industry in Czech Republic), the energy mix in the country (Estonia).The lowest primary energy intensity was observed in Malta, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and UK - partly explained by a milder climate for southern countries (e.g. Malta, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal), and a larger share of the services sector and small industry sector (e.g. UK, Ireland or Denmark) (see Table 1 and also ENER 16).

During the period 1990-2010, primary energy intensity decreased in all EEA countries. Largest decreases were observed in eastern countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Latvia) because of changes in their economic structure.

In 2010, twenty countries experienced a rise in their energy intensity (by more than 4% in Austria, the Netherlands, Latvia, Sweden, Estonia and Norway).

Per capita gross primary energy consumption was 3.5 toe for EU-27 in 2010 and 3.3 toe in EEA countries (see Table 1). The lowest values are observed in Latvia, Romania and Turkey (less than 2 toe/capita in 2010).

Data sources

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

2012 2.8.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in July-September (Q3)
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