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Energy Consumption and Energy Efficiency Trends in the EU-28 2000-2015

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This report aims at showing the present status of energy consumption in the EU-28, in the four main energy consuming sectors: residential, tertiary, transport and industry. During the last years, there have been efforts by the European Union to cut down on energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. From 2000 to 2014, there have been various initiatives that aim at reducing final energy consumption. Therefore, the report demonstrates the energy consumption progress from 2000 to 2015 in the mentioned four sectors.

Policy context

The report is set in the context of the legislative framework which relates to energy efficiency in the EU-28. The main horizontal policy measures implemented at EU level that aim to directly or indirectly improve energy efficiency in the different covered economic sectors (i.e. residential sector, tertiary sector, transport sector and industry sector) are: the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Eco-design Directive (ED), the Energy Labelling Directive (ELD), the Directives establishing an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in the European Union; the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), and the Regulation regarding CO2 emissions of new passenger cars.

This report acquires its relevancy as it aims at analysing the EU energy consumption and identifying the energy efficiency trends in the framework of the EU energy consumption targets within the Europe 2020 strategy.


Key conclusions

The EU has decreased its energy consumption over period 2000-2015. The downward trend of energy consumption has influenced in the decrease of indicators such as energy intensity and energy consumption per capita, turning into a sign of higher competitiveness as global actor. In 2014, the EU already met in terms of final energy consumption the 2020 target set in the EED for 2020 (1 061 Mtoe in 2014 vs 1 086 Mtoe). In the same year the EU was 1.5% below the 2020 target for primary energy consumption (1 505 Mtoe in 2014 vs 1 483 Mtoe). In 2015 the EU final energy consumption increases compared with the previous year, remaining still under the 2020 target. Primary energy consumption reached at 1,530 Mtoe in 2015 increasing the gap from the 2020 target. Over this period, the financial and economic crisis has caused remarkable change in the dynamics and growth rates of the different economic sectors and in the EU Member States. It has contributed to get the energy consumption back on track towards its 2020 energy and environmental targets. Distinguishing by economic sectors, the transport and the tertiary sector have increased their final energy consumption over the analysed period. In the other sectors (i.e. residential and industry sectors) the final energy consumption has decreased. The increasing trend in the tertiary sector is expected to continue as per the on-going tertiarization process in the EU. On the other hand, the decreasing trend in industry sector has been highly influenced, among others, by the financial and economic crisis. Regarding the greenhouse gas emissions, the transport sector has increased its emissions from 1990-2015. In the residential sector, the energy demand depends also on weather and climate conditions, apart other affecting factors in the energy consumption such as building characteristics (i.e. building envelope, insulation level, location, etc.) or social and cultural reasons (lifestyle, habits, etc.) among others.