EU energy consumption hits 20-year low, but fossil fuels still ever present

10 Feb 2015

New figures released by the European Union (EU) are appearing to show significant progress being made in terms of energy use, which has reached a 20-year low, but fossil fuels are still a dominant force.

The report charting the figures for 2013 shows that between then and 2006 – the EU’s peak energy consumption period – energy consumption dropped by almost 9pc, whereas between 1990 and 2013, this evened out to 0.2pc.

However, despite this breakthrough, many member states still rely on at least half of their energy needs coming from fossil fuels and natural gas, and yet, during this period renewable energies and nuclear power has seen significant increases.

Renewable energy alone, according to the statistics, rose by as much as 137pc during the 2006-2013, accounting for 12.6pc of the EU’s entire energy consumption, compared with 72.2pc for fossil fuels.

Further research into how many tonnes of oil were used between 2004 and 2013 showed that many countries across the board charted a reduction, with Ireland showing a decrease of oil imported from 14.9m tonnes in 2004 to 13.4m in 2013.

Given that most oil is imported from outside of the EU, The Guardian showed that the highest amount of energy generated from within the union’s border came from nuclear energy, accounting for 29pc with renewable energies coming just behind.

By 2020, as part of its climate change objectives, the EU is expecting to see an increase in the share of renewable energy to 20pc and make a 20pc improvement in energy efficiency.


Screenshot of report showing percentage of energy generated through renewable energy via EU

EU energy image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic