Our quality of life depends on a reliable supply of energy at an affordable price. Industry, transportation, services, cooking, heating, cooling and lighting, all rely on this. A speedy transition from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy will significantly reduce the climate, health and environmental impacts of energy production and consumption, while ensuring energy security.

Heating or cooling our homes

About half of the EU’s final energy consumption goes to heating, making it a key focus area in Europe’s efforts to improve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Decarbonising heating represents one of the major challenges for Europe on the way to meeting climate targets for 2030 and 2050 and ensuring greater energy security. Energy efficiency measures alone are insufficient to decarbonise heating and cooling when fossil fuels are being used as the main energy source. In 2020, almost 80% of all household energy use regarded space and water heating, with over half of this energy being supplied by burning fossil fuels, notably gas. Investments in renewable and waste energy sources for heating and cooling are needed to reduce gas consumption, climate impacts and air pollution.

Can you become a prosumer?

Production of renewable energy by consumers — prosumption — can offer many benefits for individuals and society.

With high energy prices and energy insecurity currently affecting Europe, small-scale prosumption provides a pathway for citizens to increase their energy independence and scale up decarbonisation efforts. Prosumerism can also have social benefits, including a sense of community and empowerment.

Prosumers are now a key element of the recent REPowerEU proposal and its Solar Rooftop initiative. According to the EEA report, almost all EU citizens can contribute in one way or another and potentially become energy prosumers.

Is the European Union on track towards its climate and energy targets?

Energy consumption in Europe and lockdown effect?

Covid lockdowns have affected all aspects of our daily lives, including energy consumption in Europe.

In 2021, the EU’s primary energy consumption (which includes all energy uses) and final energy consumption (by end users) experienced a significant rebound from the extraordinary drop observed in 2020, according to EEA early estimates. Consumption increased across all sectors and energy sources, most notably for the transport sector and for solid fuels, respectively.

Despite this increase, both primary and final energy consumption remained below pre-pandemic levels. Europe has set targets to reduce energy consumption both at the EU level and at Member States level.

Source: Climate and energy in the EU website

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