European Union

Contrary to its declining long run trend, EU primary energy consumption grew by 1.6% in 2015, its strongest growth since 2010

Fast facts

  1. EU oil production grew for the first time since 2002.
  2. The EU recorded its largest volume growth in renewables in power in 2015.
  3. EU CO2 emissions from energy use grew for the first time since 2010. 

+1.6% Growth in EU energy consumption

12.5% EU share of global energy consumption

+17.7mtoe Growth in EU renewable production

  • Increasing consumption of renewables in power (+14.9%), natural gas (+4.6%), and oil (+1.5%), outweighed declines in hydro (-9.6%), coal (-1.8%), and nuclear (-2.2%).
  • Oil remains the dominant fuel, accounting for 37% of EU energy consumption, followed by natural gas with 22% and coal with 16%.
  • Coal consumption declined by 5 mtoe to 262 mtoe, the lowest level in our dataset going back to 1965.
  • Renewables in power expanded by 17.7 mtoe (14.9%) in 2015, which was the largest increment in EU history.
  • Wind generation grew by 23.5% in 2015 and accounted for 52% of renewables in power generation, its largest share in the EU time series.
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declined by 0.4% in 2015, significantly slower than the 10-year average of -2.1%.
  • EU primary energy production fell by 0.6% as declines in natural gas (-8.0%), hydro (-9.6%), coal (-3.4%), nuclear (-2.2%) and biofuels (-0.6%) outweighed increases in renewables in power (+14.9%) and oil (+6.6%).
  • EU refinery throughput grew by 5.8% in 2015, well above the 10-year average (-1.5%) and the 2015 global average (2.3%). This marks the first increase in EU refinery throughput since 2005 and the largest increase since 1986.
  • Natural gas production fell by 8% in 2015 as the Netherlands registered the largest global decline of 13 bcm.
  • EU net natural gas imports expanded by 7.4% as pipeline imports from Russian expanded by 9.9%, with Russia accounting for just over 50% of EU net pipeline imports in 2015.
  • EU CO2 emissions from energy use increased by 1.3% in 2015, in contrast to the 10-year average decline (-1.9%), as growth in gas- and oil-related emissions offset declines in coal emissions.

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