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Between 1990 and 2013, energy intensity (the ratio of gross inland energy consumption and GDP) decreased by 1.7% per year in the EU28 countries and by 1.6% per year in the EEA countries. In 2013, energy intensity was 32% below the 1990 level in the EU28 and 30% below in the EEA countries.
During this period, the rate of decrease of energy intensity in the EU28 has been rather constant. The period 1990-2005 is characterised by relatively high economic growth and the more modest growth of gross inland energy consumption. The period 2005-2013 is characterised by much smaller economic growth and decreasing gross inland energy consumption. The resulting rate of decrease of energy intensity is rather similar in these periods.
All EEA member countries  show a decrease of energy intensity between 2005 and 2013, except for Norway (annually +1.6%), Estonia (+0.3%) and Turkey (annually +0.3%). The largest decreases were observed in central European countries (e.g. Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia) because of changes in their economic structure.
 The 33 EEA member countries include the 28 European Union Member States together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
Between 1990 and 2013, final energy consumption in the EU28 increased by 2.2%. Between 2005 and 2013, final energy consumption decreased by 7.0% in the EU28. It was a result of decreased final energy consumption in industry, transport and households sectors, where final energy consumption dropped by 15.4%, 5.7% and 3.2%, respectively. In contrast, the services sector was the only sector where energy consumption increased, by a figure of 5.7% over the same period. The decrease in final energy consumption since 2005 was influenced by economic performance, structural changes in various end-use sectors, in particular industry, improvements in end-use efficiency and lower heat consumption due to favourable climatic conditions. In 2013, the EU28 was on track to meet its 2020 target for final energy consumption. Early estimates suggest that final energy consumption decreased by a further 3.4% in 2014 compared to 2013.
Final energy consumption in EEA countries increased by 6.2% between 1990 and 2013 and t his difference is caused by the increased energy consumption in Turkey (115%) and Norway (17%). B etween 2005 and 2013, final energy consumption in EEA countries decreased by 5.0% and the largest contributor of this decrease was industry sector (13.1%).
On average, each person in the EEA countries used 2.0 tonnes of oil equivalent to meet their energy needs in 2013.
In 2013, primary energy consumption in the EU28 countries was almost the same as in 1990 and amounted to 1567 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Between 2005 and 2013, primary energy consumption in the EU28 countries decreased by 8.3% due, in particular, to the economic recession, climatic conditions and energy efficiency improvements. Based on EEA preliminary estimates, in 2014 EU28 primary energy consumption continued to decrease by 3.3% compared to 2013.
Primary energy consumption in the non-EU EEA countries doubled from 69 Mtoe in 1990 to 143 Mtoe in 2013. The main reason for the difference in the trend for these countries compared to the EU-28 was the large increase in primary energy consumption in Turkey and, to a lesser extent, in Norway.
Fossil fuels (including non-renewable waste) continued to dominate primary energy consumption in the EU28, but their share declined from 82.1% in 1990 to 72.9% in 2013. The share of renewable energy sources more than doubled over the same period, from 4.5% in 1990 to 12.6% in 2013, increasing at an average annual rate of 4.5% per year. The share of nuclear energy in gross inland energy consumption increased slightly from 13.1% in 1990 to 14.4% in 2013.
The efficiency of electricity and heat production in public conventional thermal power plants in the EU28 countries increased from 42.2% in 1990 to 48.0% in 2013. In the non-EU EEA countries, efficiency increased from 34.7% in 1990 to 44.4% in 2013. Between 2005 and 2013, the efficiency of public conventional thermal power plants more or less stabilised in both the EU28 and the non-EU EEA countries.
The efficiency of electricity and heat production from autoproducer conventional thermal power plants in the EU and non-EU EEA countries decreased by about 5 percentage points, from about 60% in 2005 to about 55% in 2013.
Over the 1990-2013 period, EU28 final energy intensity decreased by 30.5% at an annual average rate of 1.6% per year. Since 2005, final energy intensity has decreased by 12% at an annual rate of 1.6% per year, resulting in an absolute decoupling between economic growth and final energy consumption. In the transport sector, final energy intensity decreased by 1.4% per year since 2005. Final energy intensity in industry, agriculture, and services and other sectors decreased by 2.3% per year, 1.6% per year and 1.0% per year, respectively, since 2005. In the household sector, final energy intensity decreased by 0.7% per year over the same period.
Between 1990 and 2013, final energy intensity in non-EU EEA countries also decreased; by 33.2% in Norway and 1.1% in Turkey. The decrease in Turkey is much smaller than in the EU28 due to an increase of industry energy intensity.
Over the period 1990-2012, final energy efficiency increased by 25% in EU28 countries at an annual average rate of 1.3%/year, driven by improvements in the industrial sector (1.7%/year) and households (1.5%/year). Half of the efficiency gains achieved through technological innovation in the household sector have been offset by increasing number of electrical appliances and larger homes. One third of total savings in space heating in the residential sector is due to new building codes, since a building built in 2012 consumed approximately 40% less energy than one built in 1990.
Energy Trends in Europe
In 2012, the final energy consumption reached 1,104 Mtoe at EU-level (see also ENER 16). Buildings (households and services) consumed almost 40% of final energy consumption in 2012 (of which 26% for households), transport 32% (+6 points compared to 1990) followed by industry with 26% (-8 points compared to 1990) and agriculture with 2%.
The EU28 is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, which accounted in 2012 for 74.6% of the total gross inland energy consumption compared to renewables at only 11%. The share of fossil fuels (gas, solid fuels and oil)  in the total gross inland energy consumption of the EU28 declined from 83.0% in 1990 to 74.6% in 2012. at an annual rate of 0.3 % per year. Between 2005 and 2012, the share of fossil fuels in gross inland energy consumption decreased slightly faster at 0.6 % per year.
The EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels from non-EU countries remained relatively stable between 2005 and 2012. In 2012, EU28 net import of fossil fuels was 53.4% of its total gross inland energy consumption with 58.2% for oil, 28.3% for gas and 13.6% for solid fuels.
In 2012 only 71.4% of the total gross inland energy consumption in the EU28 reached the end users. Between 1990 and 2012, energy losses in transformation and distribution were about 29% of total gross inland energy consumption and did not show a significant trend.
The average efficiency of electricity and heat production of conventional thermal power stations and district heating plants in the EU28 improved over the period 1990 and 2012 by 4.8 percentage points to reach 49.4% in 2012. The main increase was seen between 1990 and 2010 with an increase of 6.3 percentage points (from 44.6% in 1990 to 50.9% in 2010). The improvement before 2010 was due to the closure of old inefficient plants, improvements in existing technologies, often combined with a switch from coal power plants to more efficient combined cycle gas turbines. Between 2010 and 2012, there was a slight fall in the efficiency of electricity and heat production from conventional thermal power plants and district heating plants of 1.5 percentage points (from 50.9% in 2010 to 49.4% in 2012) because of increased power production from coal and lignite and due to lower heat production.
 Definitions are provided in the meta data.
Fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity mix in 2012, being responsible for almost one half (48%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU28. Nuclear energy sources came second, contributing more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2012 (27%). However, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is in rapid progression and reached almost one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU28 in 2012 (24%), having doubled its share since 1990 (see ENER30 for information on renewable electricity consumption).
Final electricity consumption  increased by 29% in the EU28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.2% per year (see ENER16 ). In the EU28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (3.0%/year), followed by households (1.4%/year) and industry (0.9%/year). In non-EU EEA countries, the growth in electricity consumption was larger and reached 3.6%/year, driven by the rapid growth in Turkey.
 Final electricity consumption covers the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports.
This indicator factsheet is based on data for the period 1990 to 2012. Between 1990 and 2007, annual transport energy consumption in the EEA member countries grew by 38%. However following this year, this trend reversed. Between 2007 and 2012, total energy demand in the EEA-33 transport sector declined by 10.6 %. This is shown in Figure 1 below. Total transport energy consumption for the EEA-33 has increased by 24.4% between 1990 and 2012. Latest estimates suggest that the downward trend in transport energy consumption has continued through 2013, with a further 1% drop in energy consumption.
The shipping sector saw the greatest decline in energy consumption during the recession; bunkers dropped by 10% between 2008 and 2009 alone, with a total decrease of 15% between 2007 and 2012. Energy use for road, aviation and rail transport fell by around 9% over the 2007 to 2012 time period.
Road transport accounts for the largest amount of energy consumption, accounting for 73% of total demand in 2012. Despite a decrease in energy consumption since the recession, total road transport energy consumption in 2012 was still almost 22% higher in the EEA-33 than in 1990. The fraction of road transport fuel that is diesel has continued to increase and in 2012 it amounted to 70%.
In 2012, the share of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption  in the EU28 was 24.1%. Hydropower accounted for 11% of all electricity generation in 2012, followed by wind (6%), biomass and wastes (3%), solar power (2%), and geothermal and other renewables (2%). Overall, renewable electricity grew at an annual average rate of 4.1% since 1990, and slightly faster (7.1%/year) since 2005.
The EU28 has met its indicative 21% target for renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption by 2010, as specified in the Renewable Electricity Directive (2001/77/EC). At Member State level, 14 EU-countries met their indicative national renewable electricity targets under that Directive.
From 2012, the Renewable Electricity Directive has been repealed by the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), which establishes binding targets for Member States to meet a certain share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020 (see ENER 28 ).
 Gross (national) electricity consumption includes the total gross national electricity generation from all fuels (including auto-production), plus electricity imports, minus exports. Auto-production is defined as a natural or legal person generating electricity essentially for his/her own use. Gross electricity generation is measured at the outlet of the main transformers, i.e. it includes consumption in the plant auxiliaries and in transformers.
The share of renewable energy sources in gross inland energy consumption (GIEC) increased in the EU28 from 4.3% in 1990 to 11.0% in 2012  . In 2012, the main contributors to the gross inland consumption of renewable energy were biomass and renewable waste (58%), followed by hydro (16%), wind (10%) and liquid biofuels (9%). The gross inland energy consumption from renewable sources increased at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the period 1990-2012, with a faster growth rate observed since 2005 (6.7%/year). In non-EU EEA countries  the share of renewable in gross inland energy consumption reached 20% in 2012.
 GIEC represents the total quantity of energy necessary to satisfy inland consumption of the geographic entity under consideration. Please note that the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (GFEC) is presented in another indicator (see ENER28 ). In contrast to GIEC, GFEC excludes transformation losses in the energy sector.
 Non-EU EEA countries are Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Data for Lichtenstein and Switzerland (for 2012) are missing, hence totals for the non-EU EEA exclude Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
The share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption in the EU28 reached 14.1% in 2012, representing 70% of the EU’s 20% renewable energy target for 2020. Renewable energy sources represented 15.6% of gross final energy consumption for heating and cooling, 23.5% of final electricity consumption and 5.1% of transport fuels consumption in 2012.
The number of heating degree days (HDD) has decreased by an average of 16 per year since 1980. This helps reduce the demand for heating, particularly in northern and north-western Europe.
Climate change will affect future energy and electricity demand. Climate change is not expected to change total energy demand in Europe substantially across Europe, but there may be significant seasonal effects, with large regional differences.
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.
PDF generated on 30 Nov 2015, 10:42 AM
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