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 / Total primary energy intensity / Total primary energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017) - Assessment published Apr 2006

Total primary energy intensity (CSI 028/ENER 017) - Assessment published Apr 2006

Indicator Assessment Created 05 Apr 2006 Published 12 Apr 2006 Last modified 07 Jul 2011, 02:50 PM
Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
energy | csi
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 028
  • ENER 017
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, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Indicator definition

Total energy intensity is the ratio between the gross inland consumption of energy (or total energy consumption) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) calculated for a calendar year. The gross inland consumption of energy is calculated as the sum of the gross inland consumption of the five sources of energy: solid fuels, oil, gas, nuclear and renewable sources. To monitor trends, GDP is in constant prices to avoid the impact of inflation, base year 2000. 

Units: Gross inland energy consumption is measured in 1000 tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe) and GDP in million Euro at 2000 market prices. To make comparisons of trends across countries more meaningful, the indicator is presented as an index. For country comparisons, two additional columns are included to show the actual energy intensity in GDP in purchasing power standards for the latest available year, and also the energy intensity in terms of consumption per capita.

Units

Gross inland energy consumption is measured in 1000 tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe) and GDP in million Euro at 2000 market prices. To make comparisons of trends across countries more meaningful, the indicator is presented as an index. For country comparisons, two additional columns are included to show the actual energy intensity in GDP in purchasing power standards for the latest available year, and also the energy intensity in terms of consumption per capita.


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, EU-25

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

Data source:

Eurostat and Ameco database, European Commission.

Downloads and more info

Total energy intensity by country

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

Data source:

Eurostat.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Total energy consumption in the EU-25 grew at an average annual rate of just below 0.8 % over the period 1990 to 2003, 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 1.2 % per year. Despite this relative decoupling of total energy consumption and economic growth, total energy consumption increased by 10.9 % over the period.

Since 2000, the rate of decrease in energy intensity has slowed, and even increased between 2002 and 2003. This was due to a slowdown in the rate of GDP growth, while energy consumption continued to rise strongly.

In most EU-25 Member States total energy intensity has fallen. The average annual decrease in the new EU Member States was around 3 times higher than that in the pre-2004 EU-15 Member States. Despite this converging trend, total energy intensity in the new Member States was on average still 1.5 times above that in the pre-2004 Member States. Estonia, Slovakia, Finland and the Czech Republic had the highest energy intensities in 2003, while Ireland, Italy and Malta showed the lowest intensities (based on GDP in purchasing power standards).

Reductions in energy intensity were influenced both by structural changes of the economy and improvements in the technical efficiency of appliances or processes or better insulation in buildings. Much of the reduction was due to structural changes in the economy, particularly during the first half of the 1990s. 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. The steep decrease in the new Member States was influenced by the opening up of the economies and changes in ownership structures (through increasing privatisation). Rises in the price of raw materials and energy also increased the priority for efficiency in industry.

Trends in final energy consumption intensity by sector during 1990-2003 suggest that there have been substantial improvements in the energy intensity in the industry and services sectors. In contrast, the transport sector showed only limited decoupling of energy consumption from economic growth. In the household sector, there was no decoupling of final energy consumption from population growth. 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

Policy context and targets

Context description

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

Second Strategic Energy Review; COM(2008) 781 final. Strategic review on short, medium and long term targets on EU energy security.

The EU Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (COM (2006)545 final) aims to boost the cost-effective and efficient use of energy in the EU. One of the priority areas is making power generation and distribution more efficient.

Targets

 

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.
  • 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.
  • Climate action and renewable energy package (CARE Package)
    Combating climate change is a top priority for the EU. Europe is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions substantially while encouraging other nations and regions to do likewise.
  • COM (2011) 112 - A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050
    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.
  • COM(2006) 545
    Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
  • COM(2008) 781
    COM(2008) 781 final - Second Strategic Energy Review
  • COM(2010) 639 final: Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
    A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
  • COM(2011) 109 final: Energy Efficiency Plan 2011
    Energy Efficiency Plan 2011
  • EC, Energy efficiency measures
    Reducing energy consumption and eliminating energy wastage are among the main goals of the European Union (EU). EU support for improving energy efficiency will prove decisive for competitiveness, security of supply and for meeting the commitments on climate change made under the Kyoto Protocol.

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Methodology and frequency of data collection

Data collected annually.
Eurostat definitions and concepts for energy statistics  http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/nrg_quant_esms.htm

Methodology of data manipulation:
The primary energy intensity ( primary energy consumption   per GDP), measures how much energy is required to generate one unit of GDP. Its variation over time reflects the influence of various factors, which include energy efficiency improvements but also changes in the nature if the economic activity (the “economic structure”) or in the structure of the energy mix, changes in lifestyle (more appliances, higher indoor temperature in dwellings, more cars) etc

Total energy intensity (TEI) is defined as gross/total inland energy consumption (GIEC) divided by gross domestic product (GDP) at constant (2000) prices (i.e. to illustrate trends in economic energy intensity). The coding (used in the Eurostat New Cronos database) and specific components of the indicator are:

  • Numerator: 100800 Gross inland consumption (of energy)
  • Denominator: B1GM Gross domestic product in millions of euro, chain-linked volumes, reference year 2000 (GDP in PPS is used for cross-country comparisons of energy intensity in a particular year)

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

GDP  for EU-27 is not available in Eurostat before 1995 due to lack of data for some countries such as : Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland and Portugal (1990-1994), Slovakia (1990-91), Germany (1990), Estonia (1990-92), Romania (1990-1998) and Malta (1990-1999). The GDP growth rate published by the World Bank (reference World Development Indicators 2011) were used as an additional data source for filling the gaps before 1995. GDP for EU-27 as a whole and EEA countries has been calculated as a sum.

To compare the situation among countries and make a more realistic comparison, the energy intensity need to be corrected to take into account differences in the general prices level; for that purpose, the GDP should be expressed in purchasing power parities. This is particularly true for new Eastern Member countries where the average price level is much lower than in the EU-15 countries: after adjustment the total energy intensities of these countries is on average twice lower than the values measured with exchange rates, and are more in line with other EU countries.

Data source
Gross inland energy consumption, Gross domestic product: Eurostat (historical data) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/
GDP growth rate: World Bank (World Development Indicators 2011)  http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators
Total Primary Energy Supply non-European countries: IEA http://data.iea.org/IEASTORE/DEFAULT.ASP

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 the countries Iceland, Switzerland and Norway. Iceland has not been considered in the analysis due to lack of data after 2006. Table 1 also covers data of the World, United States, China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Africa

Temporal coverage
1990-2009

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling is necessary.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

There is no GDP available from Eurostat for the EU-27 in 1990. Moreover, data was not available for a particular year for some EU-27 Member States. The intensity of energy consumption is relative to changes in real GDP. Cross-country comparisons of energy intensity based on real GDP are relevant for trends but not for comparing energy intensity levels in specific years and specific countries. This is why the indicator is expressed as an index. In order to compare the energy intensity between countries for a specific year, two additional columns are included showing energy intensity in purchasing power standards (PPS) and energy intensity per capita. PPS are currency conversion rates that convert to a common currency and equalise the purchasing power of different currencies. They are an optimal unit for benchmarking country performance in a particular year.
Energy intensity is not sufficient for measuring the environmental impact of energy use and production. Even when two countries have the same energy intensity or show the same trend over time there could be important environmental differences between them. The link to environmental pressures has to be made on the basis of the absolute amounts of the different fuels used to produce that energy. Energy intensity should therefore always be put in the broader context of the actual fuel mix used to generate the energy.

Data sets uncertainty

Strengths and weaknesses (at data level)

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_esms.htm

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the central aggregate of National Accounts. Some estimates have been necessary using the procedure described in 6. Methodological information related to GDP can be found on Eurostat’s website.

Indicator uncertainty (historic data)
There is no GDP available from Eurostat for the EU-27 before 1995. Moreover, data was not available for a particular year for some EU-27 Member States. The intensity of energy consumption is relative to changes in real GDP. Cross-country comparisons of energy intensity based on real GDP are relevant for trends but not for comparing energy intensity levels in specific years and specific countries. This is why the indicator is expressed as an index. In order to compare the energy intensity between countries for a specific year, two additional columns are included showing energy intensity in purchasing power standards (PPS) and energy intensity per capita. PPS are currency conversion rates that convert to a common currency and equalise the purchasing power of different currencies. They are an optimal unit for benchmarking country performance in a particular year. Energy intensity should therefore always be put in the broader context of the actual fuel mix used to generate the energy.

Rationale uncertainty

 

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Filed under: ,

Comments

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