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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 Sep 2005

Total primary energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017) - Assessment published Sep 2005

Topics: ,

Generic metadata


Energy Energy (Primary topic)

energy | csi
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 028
  • ENER 017

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

Key messages

Economic growth is requiring less additional energy consumption, mainly as a result of structural changes in the economy. However, total energy consumption is still increasing.

Total energy intensity by country

Note: The year for the reference index value is 1995 because GDP for 1990 was not available for all countries

Data source:


Downloads and more info

Total energy intensity, EU-25

Note: Some estimates have been necessary in order to compute the EU-25 GDP index for 1990

Data source:

Eurostat and Ameco database, European Commission.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Total energy consumption in the EU-25 grew at an average annual rate of just below 0.7 % over the period 1990 to 2002, while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an estimated average annual rate of 2 %. As a result, total energy intensity in the EU-25 fell at an average rate of 1.3 % per year. Despite this relative decoupling of total energy consumption and economic growth, total energy consumption increased by 8.4% over the period.

All the EU-25 countries except Portugal, Spain and Latvia experienced a decrease in total energy intensity between 1990 and 2002. The average annual decrease was 3.3% in the new and 1 % in the pre-2004 EU-15 Member States. Despite this converging trend, total energy intensity in the new Member States in 2002 was still significantly higher than in the pre-2004 EU-15 Member States.

Much of the reduction of total energy intensity was due to structural changes in the economy. These included a shift from industry towards services which are typically less energy-intensive, a shift within the industrial sector from energy-intensive industries towards higher value-added, less energy-intensive industries, and one-off changes in some Member States.

Trends in final energy consumption intensity by sector during 1990-2002 suggest that there have been substantial improvements in the energy intensity in the industry and services sectors. In contrast, the transport and households sectors show only limited decoupling of energy consumption from economic growth and population growth, respectively. The lack of improvement in final energy intensity in the household sector is influenced by rising living standards, leading to a larger number of households, lower occupancy levels and increased use of household appliances.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello


EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)


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