Transport energy use in EU increases while industrial energy consumption decreases – report

(eceee news, 13 Nov 2020) A recent JRC report discusses the latest status of energy consumption trends in the EU-28, in the four main energy consuming sectors: residential, tertiary, transport and industry.

The report explores the energy consumption progress from 2000 to 2018 in the four main sectors of the economy, focussing on changes in the use of electricity and natural gas, as well as penetration of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.

The report includes analysis of energy indicators such as energy intensity and energy consumption per capita and an analysis of the most important factors influencing energy consumption trends, e. g. economic growth, population, heating demand, household characteristics and energy prices.

According to the report, the total energy consumption from 2000 to 2018 decreased by 4.2% in primary energy and 0.8% in final energy.This decrease has been accompanied with a drop in energy intensity and energy consumption per capita.

After 2014, energy consumption grew year-on-year, with the latest available data revealing a final and primary energy consumption of 1,123 Mtoe and 1,552 Mtoe in 2018, respectively. The report also finds that while the consumption increase of 2018 in comparison to 2017 was negligible in final energy, the 2018 gap to the 2020 final energy target is 3.5%.

Other findings are:

  • Though the financial and economic crises have changed the dynamics of the different economic sectors, transport and services increased their final energy consumption over the analysed period (by 10.8% and 20.2%, respectively).
  • The residential energy consumption declined by 4.5% and the industrial consumption reduced more significantly (by 14.6%).
  • The rising consumption trend in the tertiary sector is expected to continue as a consequence of the on-going tertiarization process in the EU and of the increased use of electricity in the IT sector and data centres.
  • In the residential and tertiary sectors, the energy demand depends on weather and climate conditions and other factors, such as economic conditions, population and employment, energy prices, building characteristics (e.g. building envelope, insulation level, location, etc.) or social and cultural reasons (lifestyle, habits, etc.).
  • The declining trend in industry has been influenced by the financial and economic crisis and by the deindustrialisation process.
  • In industry, energy consumption mainly depends on industrial production and economic development while in transport it depends on fuel prices, vehicle population, and on passenger and goods transportation volumes.
  • As for the energy sources mix evolution, the electrification trend is highlighted, especially in residential and tertiary sectors, partly due to the increase in the demand of electric appliances and heating pumps, the development of big data centres and growth of new information and communication technologies.

View the report here