Tags Posts tagged with "EU"


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Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) decision to increase its renewable energy target from 27 per cent to 32 per cent by 2030, highlighting that the move reinforces the EU’s position at the forefront of energy transformation and reflects the new economics of renewable energy. Responding to the announcement made by the European Commission, Mr. Amin said:

The EU’s decision to increase its renewable energy target from 27 per cent to 32 per cent by 2030 is a move that consolidates Europe’s position at the forefront of the global energy transformation, and establishes a positive decarbonisation pathway in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

It is also recognition that the new economics of renewable energy have propelled it to the forefront of energy policy and investment decision making as governments around the world look to address long-term climate and economic agendas. Our renewable energy roadmap analysis, delivered to the European Commission earlier this year, identified that higher shares of renewable energy in the EU were cost-effective and would have a net positive economic impact.

This ambitious and achievable new strategy will drive significant additional investment activity, creating thousands of new skilled jobs and improving health and wellbeing whilst decarbonising the European energy system. We welcome the decision and believe it can act as a source of encouragement to global policymakers, and as a clear reminder of the centrality of renewable energy to both economic prosperity and climate stability.”

In February, IRENA presented a report entitled ‘Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union’ – at the request of the European Commission, outling the EU’s cost effective potential to increase its share of renewables to 34 per cent by 2030 with a net positive economic impact.

Source: IRENA

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An ambitious political agreement on increasing renewable energy use in Europe was reached last June, 14 between negotiators from the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The deal means that two out of the 8 legislative proposals in the Clean Energy for All Europeans package (adopted by the European Commission on 30 November 2016) have been already agreed by the co-legislators. On 14 May, the first element of the package, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive, was adopted. Thus, progress and momentum towards completing the Energy Union is well under way and the work started by the Juncker Commission, under the priority “a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy” is delivering its promises.

The new regulatory framework includes a binding renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of 32% with an upwards revision clause by 2023.Thiswill greatly contribute to the Commission’s political priority as expressed by President Juncker in 2014 for the European Union to become the world number one in renewables. This will allow Europe to keep its leadership role in the fight against climate change, in the clean energy transition and in meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement. The rules agreed serve also to create an enabling environment to accelerate public and private investment in innovation and modernisation in all key sectors.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Renewables are good for Europe, and today, Europe is good at renewables. This deal is a hard-won victory in our efforts to unlock the true potential of Europe’s clean energy transition. This new ambition will help us meet our Paris Agreement goals and will translate into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and less energy imports. I am particularly pleased with the new European target of 32%. The binding nature of the target will also provide additional certainty to the investors. I now call on the European Parliament and the Council to continue negotiating with the same commitment and complete the rest of the proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package. This will put us on the right path towards the Long-Term Strategy that the Commission intends to present by the end of this year“.

Main achievements

Sets a new, binding, renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of 32%, including a review clause by 2023 for an upward revision of the EU level target.

• Improves the design and stability of support schemes for renewables.
• Delivers real streamlining and reduction of administrative procedures.
• Establishes a clear and stable regulatory framework on self-consumption.
• Increases the level of ambition for the transport and heating/cooling sectors.
• Improves the sustainability of the use of bioenergy.

Next steps

Following this political agreement, the text of the Directive will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, the updated Renewable energy Directive will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication. Member States will have to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law 18 months after its entry into force.


The Renewable Energy Directive is part and parcel of the implementation of the Juncker Commission priorities to build “a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy”. The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens.

In doing so, the Commission is guided by three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers. By boosting renewable energy, which can be produced from a wide variety of sources including wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass, the EU lowers its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable. The renewable energy industry also drives technological innovation and employment across Europe.

The EU has already adopted a number of measures to foster renewable energy in Europe. They include

• The EU’s Renewable energy directive from 2009 set a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, EU countries have committed to reaching their own national renewables targets. They are also each required to have at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.
• All EU countries have adopted national renewable energy action plans showing what actions they intend to take to meet their renewables targets.

Source: European Comission

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Organisations from all 28 EU Member States have called on the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to honour his promise of February 2017 and phase out the trade measures (minimum import price, anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties) on PV modules and cells imported to the EU from China and other Asian countries. With the deadline for a request for the extension of the measures looming, concern is mounting once again in the EU solar sector that the European Commission will not honour its promise to phase out the deeply unpopular trade barriers on PV modules and cells this year.

Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe said ‘Last year, the Commission made a promise to phase-out the trade measures, and they must stick to this deal. Irrespective of any request to extend the measures, the Commission must take the responsibility to stand firm and deliver on their promise. The measures are costing European manufacturing jobs, installation jobs and stifling consumer demand for solar in Europe. This trade policy is counter intuitive to what the European Commission are trying to achieve in the Clean Energy Package they brought forward just 18 months ago.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe added ‘This year solar companies and associations from every Member State have been joined by over 1 million electrical installers and 1 million energy citizens from cooperatives in opposition to the trade measures on solar panels. 18 Member States opposed the measures extension in 2017, and so it is very hard to understand why the measures are still in place. The Commission must heed the findings of the study its own DG Justice and Consumers produced, which urges the removal of the measures as they stifle demand for household solar by up to 30% in EU Member States.

The EU-China solar trade case represents the largest ever trade dispute between the EU and China and has added over 10 billion to the cost of solar in Europe since the inception of the measures in 2012. On 8 February 2017, the College of Commissioners stated that the measures would be phased out by September 3rd 2018.

Source: SolarPower Europe

European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted on Wednesday February 21 to modernise the EU’s electricity market, striving to give consumers more choice and greater energy security. The ITRE amended four legislative proposals on the EU electricity market. They are part of the so-called Clean Energy package and a step closer to an Energy Union

According to the ITRE, more competition in the electricity market, better information to consumers and small energy producers and plans to tackle shortages during crises are addressed in this energy package. The measures would provide comparison tools on energy providers, transparent bills and contracts, as well as help consumers who produce their own electricity and enhance regional cooperation during electricity crises due to natural disasters or attacks.

MEPs also want member states to consider additional payments to capacity providers only as a last resort and under certain conditions.

Giving more power to consumers

• A comparison tool should be available in each EU country, displaying and ranking rates and tariffs from all suppliers, with an impartial algorithm and independent from suppliers;
• Consumers should be able to withdraw from a contract without facing penalties, and a summary of key conditions should be included on the first page;
• By January 2022, switching supplier should take no longer than 24 hours;
• Bills should display the actual amount of energy consumed, the payment due date, contact details of the company, as well as rules on switching provider and dispute settlement.

Active energy consumers

MEPs do not want consumers who generate, consume and sell energy to be discriminated against (also called “prosumers” – active energy consumers, because they both consume and produce electricity).

MEPs agreed in particular on clear conditions for creating and managing local energy communities, i.e. groups of people producing and consuming energy locally. These local networks should contribute to the costs of the electricity system they connect to and not distort competition, MEPs added.

Measures to tackle energy crisis

In the event of an electricity supply shortage, MEPs agreed on national and regional measures to be implemented before and during crises to ensure that supply is not stopped due to e.g. adverse weather conditions or malicious attacks, such as malware or hacking.

Regional coordination centres should help to draft crisis planning scenarios, while the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) should be able to ensure that they comply with their obligations.

Source: European Parliament

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The power sector will play a crucial role in attaining the European climate targets, which aim to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990. Tracking progress in the power sector is hence of utmost importance. For the fourth year in a row, the second year in a row with Agora Energiewende, Sanbag has presented the state of the energy transition in the European power sector, to update what happened in 2017, with the report The EU Power Sector Review 2017, launched at the end of January in Brussels. Key topics include renewables growth, conventional power generation, power consumption, and CO2 emissions.

The report celebrates how the wind, sun and biomass overtook coal, in supplying electricity across Europe in 2017, but also highlights some of the failings of the current electricity transition, and gives a very mixed picture: EU renewables has been increasingly reliant on the success story of wind in Germany, UK and Denmark, which has been inspiring. But other countries need to do more. Solar deployment is surprisingly low, and needs to respond to the massive falls in costs. And with electricity consumption rising for the third year, countries need to reassess their efforts on energy efficiency.

But to make the biggest difference to emissions, countries need to retire coal plants. The study forecasts Europe’s 258 operational coal plants in 2017 emitted 38% of all EU ETS emissions, or 15% of total EU greenhouse gases. In 2017, Netherlands, Italy and Portugal added their names to the list of countries to phase-out coal, which is great. We need a fast and complete coal phase-out in Europe: the thought of charging electric cars in the 2030’s with coal just doesn’t compute. A 35% renewables target would make a 2030 coal phaseout possible.

Key findings include:

• New renewables generation sharply increased in 2017, with wind, solar and biomass overtaking coal for the first time. Since Europe‘s hydro potential is largely tapped, the increase in renewables comes from wind, solar and biomass generation. They rose by 12% in 2017 to 679 Terawatt hours, putting wind, solar and biomass above coal generation for the first time. This is incredible progress, considering just five years ago, coal generation was more than twice that of wind, solar and biomass.

• But renewables growth has become even more uneven. Germany and the UK alone contributed to 56% of the growth in renewables in the past three years. There is also a bias in favor of wind: a massive 19% increase in wind generation took place in 2017, due to good wind conditions and huge investment into wind plants. This is good news since the biomass boom is now over, but bad news in that solar was responsible for just 14% of the renewables growth in 2014 to 2017.

• Electricity consumption rose by 0.7% in 2017, marking a third consecutive year of increases. With Europe‘s economy being on a growth path again, power demand is rising as well. This suggests Europe‘s efficiency efforts are not sufficient and hence the EU‘s efficiency policy needs further strengthening.

• CO2 emissions in the power sector were unchanged in 2017, and rose economy-wide. Low hydro and nuclear generation coupled with increasing demand led to increasing fossil generation. So despite the large rise in wind generation, we estimate power sector CO2 emissions remained unchanged at 1019 million tonnes. However, overall stationary emissions in the EU emissions trading sectors rose slightly from 1750 to 1755 million tonnes because of stronger industrial production especially in rising steel production. Together with additional increases in non-ETS gas and oil demand, we estimate overall EU greenhouse gas emissions rose by around 1% in 2017.

• Western Europe is phasing out coal, but Eastern Europe is sticking to it. Three more Member States announced coal phase-outs in 2017 – Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. They join France and the UK in committing to phase-out coal, while Eastern European countries are sticking to coal. The debate in Germany, Europe’s largest coal and lignite consumer, is ongoing and will only be decided in 2019.

Source: Sandbag

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European wind industry contributed €36bn to the EU’s GDP in 2016, supported 263,000 jobs and generated €8bn of exports outside of Europe. These are the main findings of a new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’ carried out by Deloitte for WindEurope and presented at the WindEurope Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam. The report also outlines what the wind industry saves Europe in terms of reduced fossil fuel imports (€32bn from 2011-2016) and CO₂ emissions (166 million tons in 2016) and what it contributes to government tax revenues (€4.9bn in 2016).

The report shows how wind energy creates value not only for the wind industry but for the wider economy. Every €1,000 of turnover generated in the wind industry generates €250 of economic activity in other sectors such as metals, chemicals, electrical equipment and machinery, construction and engineering. Much of the industry and supply chain is located in economically less-advantaged areas. And it brings quality jobs to those areas: 82% of the 263,000 jobs are high-skilled.

Wind farms also bring direct benefits to the communities where they’re located, whether through local citizens sharing the revenues through community ownership or the operators paying local taxes to the town or district authorities.

That’s the good news. The less good news is that Europe’s really got its work cut out to maintain this success. Job growth in the industry has flat-lined in the last five years as many countries have become less ambitious on renewables: half the EU Member States invested nothing in wind last year. Net exports of wind equipment are falling in the face of strong competition from emerging economies: down from €3bn in 2011 to €2.4bn today. This is due to European turbine manufacturers sourcing more components from outside Europe. The policy ambition and clarity needed to sustain wind’s contribution to the European economy is currently not in place.

Wind is a smart choice for the economy. It’s a European industrial success story. But it’s at risk. Clear and ambitious targets and policies are essential to sustain the jobs and growth our industry supports,” said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO. “We need an EU renewables target of at least 35% by 2030. We need clarity on post-2020 volumes so the supply chain knows what to invest and where. We need R&D and industrial policies that help Europe maintain its technology lead and continue to export. If all this happens, wind could meet 30% of Europe’s power needs in 2030 and we’d generate more jobs and growth for the economy. But if it doesn’t, Europe will miss out on €92bn of investments and 132,000 jobs: that’s the cost of non-ambition. What’s more, ambition costs less than the alternatives: onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power in most EU countries; offshore wind isn’t far behind, with costs falling over 60% in three years.

Renewable energy policy means industrial policy – wind energy is making major contributions to economies on a national and international level. The main requirement for the wind industry and green, sustainable growth in Europe is a stable, reliable and long-term political framework post-2020. Visibility is crucial to industrial planning. When we see significant volumes in a market or a region, we invest in the supply chain as it provides economies of scale,” said Hans-Dieter Kettwig, Managing Director, Enercon.

The challenges of climate change, energy security and Europe’s industrial stability are more intense than ever before. Wind power is an important part of the solution as it has already soundly proven – locally and globally. Our new offshore manufacturing facilities in Hull (UK) and Cuxhaven (Germany) are a good example for bringing employment back to coastal regions and contributing to re-industralisation. To continuously offer wind power at the lowest possible cost of energy, our industry needs a long-term vision, a stable framework and sufficient volumes,” said Markus Tacke, CEO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

Subsidy-free is not policy-free. In times of first subsidy free wind projects, we need to discuss with European policy-makers how the regulatory environment for renewable energy can support both competitive renewable energy and a firm social and political outlook for the energy transition. Both are closely linked and cannot be discussed and deployed separately. These are issues we need to address if we are to further the local impact and global leadership of wind energy in Europe,” said Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President – Head of Business Area Wind, Vattenfall.

The wind industry is key to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and has dramatically lowered the cost of wind energy, creating jobs and investments and contributing directly and indirectly to a huge range of industries in Europe. Wind energy is cheaper than many fossil fuels and it’s time for the EU to review its 2030 renewable energy target and raise it to at least 35 per cent. On top of that, we need to continue working on adapting markets, policies and public infrastructure to reflect a future energy system with more renewables. By doing so, the sector will continue to grow, create jobs and investments, and a more sustainable energy mix,” said Anders Runevad, Group President & CEO, Vestas.

Source: WindEurope

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Wind energy has the potential to provide up to 30% of Europe’s power by 2030 according to figures released today by WindEurope in its Outlook to 2020 and Scenarios for 2030 reports.

According to WindEurope’s projections, Europe could be on course for an average installation rate of 12.6 GW per year in the years up to 2020, offshore will represent a quarter of installations. This would take Europe to a total of 204 GW by 2020. By this date wind would be Europe’s largest renewable energy source, surpassing hydro and providing 16.5% of Europe’s electricity demand.


With a quarter of the global market in the next four-year period, the EU could attract more installations than the US and India, but significantly less than China. This growth is likely to be concentrated in just six countries (Germany, UK, France, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium), that could represent over 3/4 installations in the next four years. Central and Eastern Europe lagging well behind.

The Scenarios for 2030 report illustrates that wind energy still has enormous growth potential. The Central Scenario shows that wind could reach a total of 323 GW, 253 GW onshore and 70 GW offshore. This would also include the repowering or life-extension of the roughly half of the EU’s existing wind capacity that is going to reach the end of its operational life before 2030. That would be more than double the capacity installed at the end of 2016 (160 GW). With this capacity, wind energy would produce 888 TWh of electricity, equivalent to 30% of the EU’s power demand.

Reaching this milestone will be possible if the right policies are in place and significant changes to the energy system are made. This includes greater certainty on long-term revenue stability; significant progress on the system integration of variable renewables including build-out of the grid and interconnectors; and clear policy commitments on electrification.

WindEurope’s High Scenario assumes favourable market and policy conditions including the achievement of a 35% EU renewable energy target. In this scenario, 397 GW of wind energy capacity would be installed in the EU by 2030, 298.5 GW onshore and 99 GW offshore. This would be 23% more capacity than in the Central Scenario and two and a half times more capacity than currently installed in the EU.

In the Low Scenario, however, there would be 256.4 GW of wind capacity in 2030, 207 GW onshore and 49 GW offshore, producing 21.6% of the EU’s power demand in 2030. That is 20% less capacity than in the Central Scenario.

Germany, France and the UK would have the most installed capacity, with 85 GW, 43 GW and 38 GW respectively. France would leapfrog the UK and Spain to second place thanks to the policies being put in place by the new government. Meanwhile Denmark, Ireland, Estonia and the Netherlands would form an exclusive club of countries sourcing more than 50% of their electricity from wind by 2030.

This growth would mean 382 tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions annually and unlock €239bn in investment from 2017-2030, enabling the wind industry to support 569,000 European jobs by 2030. It would also avoid the import of €13.2bn worth of fossil fuels per annum.

WindEurope CEO, Giles Dickson, said: “Wind energy is now firmly established as the cheapest form of new power generation. But the outlook from 2020 is uncertain. The industry needs binding and ambitious National Energy & Climate Action Plans that provide clarity on post-2020 volumes, which will allow cost reductions to continue. This requires a good outcome on the EU Clean Energy Package. With an ambitious European renewables target of at least 35% by 2030, the wind industry could deliver even bigger volumes at competitive cost.

Source: WindEurope

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According to last figures released by Eurostat, in 2015, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the EU reached 16.7%, nearly double the figure for 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which the data are available.

The share of renewables in gross final consumption of energy is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target to be reached by 2020 for the EU is a share of 20% energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy. However, renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020. For this reason, EU countries have already agreed on a new EU renewable energy target of at least 27% by 2030.

Each EU Member State has its own Europe 2020 target. The national targets take into account the Member States’ different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance. Since 2004, the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy grew significantly in all Member States. Compared with a year ago, it has increased in 22 of the 28 Member States.


Among the 28 EU Member States, eleven have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, Austria and Slovakia are about 1 percentage point from their 2020 targets.

With more than half (53.9%) of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy, Sweden had by far in 2015 the highest share, ahead of Finland (39.3%), Latvia (37.6%), Austria (33.0%) and Denmark (30.8%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of renewables were registered in Luxembourg and Malta (both 5.0%), the Netherlands (5.8%), Belgium (7.9%) and the United Kingdom (8.2%), are the furthest away from their targets.

Source: Eurostat

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In a historic move, EU ministers approved last Friday the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. The decision was reached at an extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels. This decision brings the Paris Agreement very close to entering into force.

Once approved by the European Parliament next week, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today’s decision shows that the European Union delivers on promises made. It demonstrates that the Member States can find common ground when it is clear that acting together, as part of the European Union, their impact is bigger than the mere sum of its parts. I am happy to see that today the Member States decided to make history together and bring closer the entry into force of the first ever universally binding climate change agreement. We must and we can hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This is not a dream. This is a reality and it is within our reach. Today we are closer to it.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. Today’s decision shows what Europe is all about: unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris. We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action. And when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.

So far, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal. The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.

The EU, which played a decisive role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the main legislative proposals to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030.

Next steps

Today’s approval will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week. Once Parliament has consented, the Council can formally adopt the Decision.

A steady decline in energy consumption in the period from 2000 to 2014 has lowered EU final energy consumption from 1133 Mtoe in 2000 to 1061 Mtoe in 2014, according to a JRC report. This puts the consumption below the indicative targets for 2020, set to 1086 Mtoe by the European Energy Efficiency Directive. The saving achieved is equivalent to the whole energy consumption of Finland in 2014.

The report presents the status of energy consumption trends in the four main energy consuming sectors in the EU: residential, tertiary (services), transport and industry over the period 2000-2014. The breakdown into sectors shows that the largest decline of final energy consumption has been registered in the industry (-17.62%), followed by a remarkable decrease (-9.52%) in the residential sector, while the transport sector has seen a slight increase (+2.21%) surpassed by services which have marked an energy consumption hike of 16.48%. The increasing trend in the tertiary sector is expected to continue as Europe moves to a more service-based industry.

According to the report, transport accounted for 33.22% of total final energy consumption in 2014, confirming transportation as the main energy consumer. Its final energy consumption in the EU-28 has grown from 344.9 Mtoe to 352.5 Mtoe. A decreasing trend, registered from 2007 to 2013, has been reversed in 2014 with a 1.4% growth due to recovering economies.



Road transport, especially passenger cars, represents the main consuming transport subsector. Its energy consumption has increased by 2%; other two subsectors which have registered a rise in their consumption in comparison to 2000 are pipeline transport (+ 192.4%) and international aviation (+ 14.8%). The results show that biofuels (especially biodiesels) have developed at a rapid pace from 2000 to 2014, and their contribution in the energy mix has increased by 3.8% (13.4 Mtoe), reaching a 4.01% share in 2014.


For buildings, the energy demand depends not only on weather and climate conditions but also on other factors such as building characteristics (i.e. building envelope, insulation level, location, heating/cooling systems etc.) as well as economic, social and cultural reasons (disposable income, lifestyle, habits, etc.). JRC’s market analysis shows that the purchase and use of more efficient energy-related products are to a certain extent defining the energy consumption in buildings, hence the 9.5% decline between 2000 and 2014.


Final energy consumption in European industries has been falling since 2008. Reduced production of iron and steel – the highest energy consumption manufacturing subsector – has led to a 24% drop of the final energy consumption during the period 2000-2014. The financial and economic crisis has further affected the production.