European Union

Contrary to its declining long run trend, EU primary energy consumption grew for the second consecutive year (+0.7%) as lower oil and gas prices increased demand

Fast facts

  1. Renewables accounted for 18.5% of total power generation with wind providing just over 50% of this total.
  2. Natural gas consumption increased by 29.7 Bcm - its third largest increment increase in our dataset (behind 1996 and 2010).
  3. Natural gas production fell for the sixth consecutive year and reached its lowest level since 1970.

+0.7% Growth in EU energy consumption

12.4% EU's share of global energy consumption

-2.3% Decline in EU energy production

  • EU gas consumption increased by 7.1% in 2016 - far faster than the 10-year average decline of 2.2%.
  • Coal consumption declined by 8.9% in 2016, driven by a decline of over 50% in the UK.
  • Oil and gas remained the dominant fuels with 37% and 24% share of primary energy consumption respectively.
  • Renewables in power grew by just 0.5% compared to the 10-year average of nearly 15% - mainly driven by lower capacity utilisation compared to 2015.
  • Nuclear declined by 2.3% as a result of over one-third of nuclear reactors in France being taken offline for safety checks.
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declined by 1.2% in 2016 compared to the 10-year average decline of 2.1%.
  • Primary energy production decreased by 2.3% in 2016. Oil and natural gas production fell by 1.2% and 1.6% respectively.
  • Natural gas production continued to decline in 2016, with output in the Netherlands declining by 7.6% to levels last seen in 1971.
  • Coal production declined by 7.9%, driven by a more than 50% decline in UK production.
  • Total European gross natural gas imports expanded by 3.6% in 2016 as pipeline imports expanded by 3.8% and LNG imports by 2.4%. Russian imports accounted for around 40% of net pipeline imports (down from around one-half in 2015) and about one third of total gas imports.
  • Total European natural gas net imports expanded by 13.9% as pipeline imports expanded by 4.6% and LNG imports by 3.6%. Russia’s share in total Europe’s net pipeline imports was 80% and in total net gas imports 65%.

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