Do something for our planet, print this page only if needed. Even a small action can make an enormous difference when millions of people do it!
For the public:
Ask your question
The EEA Web CMS works best with following browsers:
Internet Explorer is not recommended for the CMS area.
If you have forgotten your password,
we can send you a new one.
Skip to content. |
Skip to navigation
Large combustion plants are responsible for a significant proportion of anthropogenic emissions. In 2014, large combustion plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) and nitrogen oxides (NO x ) contributed 45 % and 15 %, respectively, to EU-28 totals.
Since 2004, emissions from large combustion plants in the EU-28 have decreased by 74 % for SO 2 , 47 % for NO x and 73 % for dust.
The largest plants (> 500 MWth) account for only 24 % of large combustion plants but are responsible for around 80 % of all large combustion plant SO 2 , NO x and dust emissions. In 2014, of a total of 3 446 large combustion plants, 50 % of all emissions came from just 42, 82 and 31 plants for SO 2 , NOx and dust, respectively.
One indicator of the environmental performance of large combustion plants is the ratio between emissions and fuel consumption (i.e. the implied emission factor). The implied emission factors for all three pollutants decreased significantly between 2004 and 2014 for all sizes of large combustion plants.
In 2014, there were just over 3 400 large combustion plants (LCPs) in the EU-28. The number of such plants increased by 10 % between 2004 and 2014. Most of this increase occurred between 2004 and 2010, with the trend stabilising after 2010.
There was also an 19 % increase in installed capacity in the EU-28 between 2004 and 2014.
The actual use of this capacity, in terms of the fuel input, remained broadly stable between 2004 and 2008, but since 2010 there has been a decreasing trend in total fuel used by large combustion plants in the EU-28. Fuel input fired in 2009 was 7 % lower than in 2008 and 3 % lower than in 2010.
The mix of fuels used remained largely stable over this time, although with a shift away from liquid fuels towards biomass. Between 2010 and 2014, the consumption of solid fuels increased while that of natural gas decreased. The types of fuel consumed most in 2014 were solid fuels (mainly coal; 56 % of total fuel consumption) and natural gas (24 %).
The installed capacity of large combustion plants in Europe is not equally distributed: Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom together accounted for more than 50 % of total fuel input and operating capacity in 2014.
Between 2005 and 2014, final energy consumption decreased by 11 % (1.3 % annually) in the EU-28. Final energy consumption decreased in all sectors, particularly in the industry and households sectors (16.5 % and 14.8 %, respectively), but also in the transport (4.5 %) and services sectors (1.7 %). This decrease in final energy consumption since 2005 was influenced by economic performance, structural changes in various end-use sectors, particularly industry, improvements in end-use efficiency and lower than average heat consumption as a result of favorable climatic conditions, particularly in 2011 and 2014. In 2014, the EU-28 met its 2020 target for final energy consumption.
Between 2005 and 2014, final energy consumption in some non-EU EEA countries, namely Turkey, Iceland and Norway, increased by 28 % (2.8 % per year). This difference was caused by an increase in energy consumption in Turkey (35 %) and Iceland (78 %), and a small decrease in energy consumption in Norway (1 %). Since 1990, the final energy consumption in these non-EU EEA countries has increased by 92 % (2.8 % annually).
Final energy consumption in the EEA-33 countries decreased by 8.4 % (1 % annually) between 2005 and 2014. The largest contributors to this decrease were the industry and household sectors, both contributing 13.6 % to this decrease. On average, each person in the EEA-33 countries used 2.0 tonnes of oil equivalent to meet their energy needs in 2014.
The number of population-weighted heating degree days (HDD) decreased by 8.2 % between the 1951–1980 and 1981–2014 periods; the decrease during the 1981–2014 period was on average 9.9 HDDs per year (0.45 % per year). The largest absolute decrease occurred in northern and north-western Europe.
The number of population-weighted cooling degree days (CDD) increased by 49.1 % between the 1951–1980 and 1981–2014 periods; the increase during the period 1981–2014 was on average 1.2 HDDs per year (1.9 % per year). The largest absolute increase occurred in southern Europe.
The projected decrease in HDDs as a result of future climate change during the 21st century is somewhat larger than the projected increase in CDDs in absolute terms. However, in economic terms, these two effects are almost equal in Europe, because cooling is generally more expensive than heating.
The projected increases in the cooling demand in southern and central Europe may further exacerbate peaks in electricity demand in the summer unless appropriate adaptation measures are taken.
Between 1990 and 2014, energy intensity (the ratio of gross inland energy consumption and gross domestic product (GDP)) decreased by 1.7 % per year in both the EU-28 and the group of EEA countries. In 2014, energy intensity was 35 % below 1990 levels in the EU-28 and in the group of EEA countries .
During this period, the rate of decrease of energy intensity in the EU-28 has been rather constant. The 1990-2005 period is characterised by relatively high economic growth and the more moderate growth of gross inland energy consumption. The 2005-2014 period, however, is characterised by lower economic growth and decreasing gross inland energy consumption. As a result, the rate of decrease of energy intensity is rather similar in both periods .
In all EEA member countries  energy intensity decreased between 2005 and 2014, except for Estonia, Iceland and Turkey. The largest decreases were observed in central and eastern 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.
The consumption of renewable energy continued to increase in 2014. The amount of renewable energy as a share of gross final energy consumption in the EU-28 countries reached 16.0 % in 2014, representing 80 % of the EU's 20 % renewable energy target for 2020. Renewable energy contributed 17.7 % of gross final energy consumption for heating and cooling, 27.5 % of final electricity consumption and 5.9 % of transport fuels consumption in 2014.
In 2014, 27 Member States (i.e. all except the Netherlands) met or exceeded their indicative targets set under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), while 22 Member States (i.e. all except France, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal) reached or exceeded the indicative trajectories set in their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs).
In 2014, nine countries ( Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Sweden ) managed to reach their binding renewable energy share targets for 2020 set under the RED .
In 2014, low-carbon energy sources (renewables and nuclear energy) continued to dominate the electricity mix for the second year in a row, together generating more power than fossil fuel sources.
In 2014, fossil fuels were responsible for 42 % of all gross electricity generation, a decrease of 25 % compared with 1990 across the EU-28 .
By way of contrast, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is growing rapidly and reached more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU-28 (29 % in 2014 ), more than twice as much as in 1990. As such, renewable sources generated more electricity in 2014 than nuclear sources or coal and lignite.
Nuclear energy sources contributed roughly one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2014 (27.5 %).
Final electricity consumption (the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports) has increased by 25 % in the EU-28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 0.9 % per year (see ENER 016). In the EU-28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (2.5 % per year), followed by households (1.1 % per year).
With regard to the non-EU EEA countries, between 1990 and 2014 electricity generation increased by an average of 6.5 % per year in Turkey, 6.3 % per year in Iceland and 0.5 % per year in Norway.
In 2014, primary energy consumption in the EU-28 countries amounted to 1 507 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), 1.6 % above the 2020 target. Between 2005 and 2014, primary energy consumption in the EU-28 countries decreased by 12 % due to energy efficiency improvements, the increase of the share of energy from hydro, wind and solar photovoltaics, the economic recession and climate warming. Based on EEA preliminary estimates, in 2015 EU-28 primary energy consumption was 1525 Mtoe. This represents a 1.2 % increase compared with 2014.
Fossil fuels (including non-renewable waste) continued to dominate primary energy consumption in the EU-28, but as a proportion of total primary energy consumption, they fell from 77.8 % in 2005 to 71.6 % in 2014. The proportion of renewable energy sources almost doubled over the same period, from 7.1 % in 2005 to 13.4 % in 2014, increasing at an average annual rate of 5.8 % per year between 2005 and 2014. The proportion of nuclear energy in primary energy consumption was 15.0 % in 2014.
Between 2005 and 2014, the efficiency of public conventional thermal power plants more or less stabilised in the EU-28 at around 48 %. In the non-EU EEA countries, this efficiency dropped to 44 %.
The efficiency of electricity and heat production from autoproducer conventional thermal power plants in the EU and non-EU EEA countries decreased by about 2.5 percentage points, from 59.4% in 2005 to 56.9% in 2014.
Between 1990 and 2014, final energy efficiency increased by 28 % in the EU-28 countries at an annual average rate of 1.4 % per year. This was driven by improvements in the industrial sector (+1.8 % per year) and households (+1.7 % per year). Improvement rates were lower in the service sector (+1 % per year) and the transport sector (+0.9 % per year). Half of the efficiency gains achieved through technological innovation in the household sector have been offset by an increasing number of electrical appliances being used and larger homes.
The annual energy consumption in transport in the EEA-33 grew by 38 % between 1990 and 2007. However, the economic recession caused a subsequent decline in transport demand leading to an 8 % decrease in the related energy demand between 2007 and 2014. Nevertheless, between 1990 and 2014, there was a 27 % net growth in the energy consumption in transport in the EEA-33.
The shipping sector saw the greatest decline in energy consumption during the economic recession; it dropped by 11 % between 2008 and 2009 alone, with a total decrease of 23 % between 2007 and 2014. Total energy use in road, aviation and rail transport fell by 5 % between 2007 and 2014.
Road transport accounts for the largest share of energy consumption, with 74 % of the total EEA-33 demand in 2014. Despite a decrease in energy consumption since the recession, road transport energy consumption in 2014 was still 25 % higher than in 1990. The fraction of diesel used in road transport has continued to increase, amounting to 72 % of total fuel sales in 2014.
The EU-28 is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, but it is decarbonising. Fossil fuels (gas, solid fuels and oil) accounted for 73.8% of the total gross inland energy consumption in 2013 (83% in 1990), while renewables accounted for just 11.8%. Between 1990 and 2013, the share of fossil fuels in the total gross inland energy consumption of the EU-28 decreased at an annual rate of 0.4% per year (0.6% per year between 2005 and 2013).
The efficiency of conventional thermal power plants has also improved from 42.2% in 1990 to 48% in 2013. In 2013, only 72.3% of the total gross inland energy consumption in the EU-28 reached the end users. Between 1990 and 2013, energy losses in transformation and distribution were about 27.7% of total gross inland energy consumption and did not show a significant trend.
The EU-28 is increasingly relying on imported fossil fuels from non-EU countries. The share of net imported fossil fuels in total gross inland energy consumption increased from 44% in 1990 to 53.2% in 2013. The EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels from non-EU countries remained relatively stable between 2005 and 2013. In 2013, 58% of total net imports was oil, 28% gas and 14% solid fuels.
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.
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.
For references, please go to http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/energy/indicators or scan the QR code.
PDF generated on 01 May 2017, 12:39 AM
EEA Web Team
Software updates history
Code for developers
Refresh this page