Indicator Assessment

Total energy consumption - outlook from EEA

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-46-en
  Also known as: Outlook 050
Published 08 Jun 2007 Last modified 11 May 2021
11 min read
This page was archived on 12 Nov 2013 with reason: Content not regularly updated

Total EU-27 energy requirements continue to increase up to 2030. In 2030 primary energy consumption is 11% higher than in 2005. Oil remains the most important fuel, while renewables and natural gas are projected to be the only energy sources that increase their market shares.

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Structure of Primary Energy Consumption in EU15 in 1990-2005, and projected structure to 2030

Total Energy Consumption in EU 27 from 1990 to 2005 and projected Total Energy Consumption to 2030

Note: N/A

Data source:

Center for Environmental Systems Research

Structure of Primary Energy Consumption in EU27 in 1990-2005, and projected structure to 2030

Structure of Primary Energy Consumption in NM 12 in 1990-2005, and projected structure to 2030

Total EU-27 energy requirements continue to increase up to 2030. In 2030 primary energy consumption is 11% higher than in 2005. The energy growth rates become smaller over time with consumption almost stabilising post 2020 reflecting lower economic growth and stagnating population in the last decade of the projection period. The 11% increase in the primary energy consumption by 2030 is much lower than the GDP growth over the same period (71%).

The primary energy consumption increase of some 200 Mtoe between 2005 and 2030 will be overwhelmingly met by renewables and natural gas, which are the only energy sources that increase their market shares. Oil remains the most important fuel, although its consumption in 2030 exceeds the current level by only 6%. Renewables increase most, growing by over 90% from today to 2030. In absolute terms they increase by 115 Mtoe from 2005 to 2030 accounting for nearly 60% of the increase of energy demand. RES use increases most in power generation, followed by transport and heating and cooling. Natural gas demand is expected to expand considerably by 71 Mtoe up to 2030, after the substantial increase already seen up to now. Solid fuels are projected to exceed their current level by 5% in 2030, following high oil and gas prices and the nuclear phase-out in certain Member-States. As a result of political decisions on nuclear phase-out in certain old Member-States and the closure of plants with safety concerns in some new Member-States, nuclear energy is 20% smaller in 2030 than it was in 2005. Although nuclear generation has been rising in recent years, after 2010 the agreed policies on nuclear and the replacement cycles for older plants lead to more nuclear plant closure than there will be new investment in nuclear. Carbon intensity (ratio of CO2 emission to energy consumption) continues to improve up to 2010. However, this improvement comes to a halt after 2010 as nuclear plants are progressively retired and largely replaced by coal without renewables making sufficient progress.

The share of fossil fuels in total energy consumption falls only marginally by 2030, reaching 78% (compared with 79% in 2005). Solid fuels and oil lose roughly 1 percentage point each, while the gas share increases by 1 percentage point. The decrease of the oil and solid fuels share is particularly noticeable in the New Members 12. The renewables share in primary energy consumption rises throughout the projection period from less than 7% in 2005 to 8% in 2010, 10% in 2020 and 12% in 2030. Nevertheless, under baseline conditions the EU target on renewables for 2010 will not be achieved. The renewables share in final energy demand rises by 4 percentage points between 2005 and 2020 reaching 12.7% in 2020. Achieving the 20% renewables target for 2020 will require a substantial additional effort compared with baseline developments, which includes only those measures implemented in the Member-States by the end of 2006.

The share of nuclear in total energy consumption drops slightly, from 14% in 2005 to 13% in 2010 and to only 10% by 2030. In total the share of indigenous and carbon free energy sources rises marginally, from 21% in 2005 to 22% in 2030.

Supporting information

Indicator definition

Definition: Total energy consumption is made up of production plus imports, minus exports, minus international marine bunkers plus/minus stock changes. It is also called Total primary energy supply or Gross inland energy consumption and represents the quantity of all energy necessary to satisfy inland consumption.

Model used: PRIMES

Ownership: European Environment Agency

Temporal coverage: 1990 - 2030

Geographical coverage: EU 15 : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom; EU 12: Bulgaria Cyprus, Czech republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia


The indicator is provided in relative (Mtoe) and absolute ways (share in percentage).

Total Energy consumption is measured in million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Therefore, the share of each fuel in total energy consumption is measured in absolute value, but presented in the form of a percentage. The sum of all fuel-shares equals 100 %.


Policy context and targets

Context description

Global policy context

The major documents that relate to trends of the total energy consumption (supply) at the global level were developed and presented during the World Summit on Sustainable Development  in Johannesburg (WSSD,2002) in Agenda 21. WSSD, 2002 aims to achieve a sustainable energy future, including diversified energy sources using cleaner technologies. Moreover, there is a number of sub-negotiations and declarations concerning more sustainable ratio in balance between a global energy supply and consumption of different energy types.

Pan-European policy context

The recent pan-european policies concerning different aspects of total energy consumption have been developed under different intenational fora. 

The Committee on Sustainable Energy seeks to reform energy prices and subsidies and ways how to carry out it to meet more sustainable energy supply, production and consumption in the region (UNECE Guidelines).

Kiev Declaration "Environment for Europe" (2003) aims at supporting further efforts to promote renewable energy supply to meet environmental objectives.

EU policy context

Total energy consumption disaggregated by fuel type provides an indication of the extent of environmental pressure caused (or at risk of being caused) by energy production and consumption. The relative shares of fossil fuels, nuclear power and renewable energies together with the total amount of energy consumption are valuable in determining the overall environmental burden of energy consumption in the EU.

 Trends in the share of these fuels will be one of the major determinants of whether the EU meets its target of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as agreed in 1997 under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The overall Kyoto target for the pre-2004 EU-15 Member States requires a 8% reduction by 2008-2012 from baseyear levels (1990 for most greenhouse gases), while most new Member States have individual targets under the Kyoto Protocol. 

On 23 January 2008 the European Commission adopted the 'Climate Action and Renewable Energy' package. The Package sets a number of targets for EU member states with the ambition to achieve the goal of limiting the rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times including: GHG reduction of 20% compared to 1990 by 2020. (under a satisfactory global climate agreement this could be scaled up to a 30% reduction); 20% reduction in energy consumption through improved energy efficiency, an increase in renewable energy's share to 20% and a 10% share for sustainably produced biofuels and other renewable fuels in transport. With these goals in mind, each Member State will by June 30th 2010 submit a National Renewable Energy Action Plan to the Commission.

EECCA policy context

The main policy illustrating regional objectives of EECCA countries is EECCA Environmental Strategy. One of the main goals is "to contribute to improving environmental conditions and to implement the WSSD Implementation Plan in EECCA countries" regarding energy issues as well as Kiev Declaration's energy performance tasks.


Global level

  • Implement energy strategies for Sustainable Development, including diversified energy sources using cleaner technologies (WSSD)

Pan-European level

  • Increase the share of renewable meet environmental objectives (Kiev Declaration)

EU level

  • Balancing sustainable development, competitiveness, security of supply (2006EC Green Paper on energy)
  • By 2010: 22.1% of electricity and 12% of all energy from renewables (6thEAP and Green Paper on Energy)
  • 20% replacment of vehicle fuels with alternative fuels by 2020 (A European partnership for the sustainable hydrogen economy)
  • Diversifying energy supplies, including via new infrastructure (e. g. pipelines) (Green Paper on Energy)
  • Replace 20% oil with substitute fuels by 2020 (EU)
  • Trans-European Energy networks, also beyond EU (Green Paper on Energy)


  • Energy infrastructure improvements for sustainability by 2025 (EECCA Strategy)
  • Support regional cooperation for energy trade (EECCA Strategy)

Related policy documents



Methodology for indicator calculation

The indicator of the Total energy consumption (gross inland consumption) is produced using the PRIMES model. The model covers the horizon from 1990 to 2030 with 5 years periods. A fundamental assumption in PRIMES is that producers and consumers both respond to changes in prices.

Overview of the PRIMES Model

PRIMES is a partial equilibrium model for the European Union energy system developed by, and maintained at, The National Technical University of Athens, E3M-Laboratory. The most recent version of the model used in the calculations covers each of the EU Member States, EU candidate countries and Neighbouring countries, uses Eurostat as the main data source, and is updated with 2000 as the base year. The PRIMES model is the result of collaborative research under a series of projects supported by the Joule programme of the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission.

The model determines the equilibrium by finding the prices of each energy form such that the quantity producers find best to supply match the quantity consumers wish to use. The equilibrium is static (within each time period) but repeated in a time-forward path, under dynamic relationships. The model is behavioural but also represents in an explicit and detailed way the available energy demand and supply technologies and pollution abatement technologies. It reflects considerations about market economics, industry structure, energy/environmental policies and regulation. These are conceived so as to influence the market behaviour of energy system agents. The modular structure of PRIMES reflects a distribution of decision-making among agents that decide individually about their supply, demand, combined supply and demand, and prices. Then the market-integrating part of PRIMES simulates market clearing. PRIMES is a general purpose model. It conceived for forecasting, scenario construction and policy impact analysis. It covers a medium to long-term horizon. It is modular and allows either for a unified model use or for partial use of modules to support specific energy studies.

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Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gap filling has been specified. Probably this info has been added together with indicator calculation.

Methodology references



Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sources

Other info

DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 050
EEA Contact Info


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