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Regional insight – EU

The European Union, thanks to its policies, leads the global transition towards a carbon-free economy

Highlights

13% decrease

Decline in energy consumption

8%

Share of global energy consumption in 2040

3% increase

Growth in energy production


Renewables is the largest source of energy in 2040, accounting for 29% of EU energy consumption.
 
Primary energy use in power generation grows by 10% over the Outlook but falls in all end-use sectors.
 
Carbon emissions in 2040 decrease by 36% compared to the 2017 levels.

 

Projections

  • Primary energy use in power generation grows by 10% in 2040, reflecting a strong process of electrification.
  • Final energy consumption declines across the board: non-combusted uses (-26%), industry (-18%), buildings (-11%), and transportation (-18%).
  • As a result of those trends, power generation amounts to 52% of total primary energy consumption in 2040, up from 42% in 2017.
  • Accelerated electrification boosts renewables in power (+169%) and, to a lesser extent, hydro (+6%). Electrification sustains natural gas consumption, which declines marginally (-2%) over the Outlook.
  • Renewables become the largest source of energy in 2035-2040, surpassing oil. Among renewable sources, wind represents about two-thirds of total renewable energy in 2040.         
  • Despite the decrease in final energy consumption by transport, biofuels increase by 37% over the Outlook. In addition, electricity consumption in transport increases by around 700% over 2017-2040.
  • Coal and nuclear consumption fall significantly (-66% and -46%, respectively) largely driven by policy.
  • Production of fossil fuels all see robust declines: oil (-28%), natural gas (-52%) and coal (-73%).
  • The decline in natural gas production leads to a deterioration self-sufficiency, with the import ratio rising from 75% to 88%.
  • Energy intensity decreases by 35%, in line with the global average for 2017-2040.
  • Carbon emissions decrease sharply (-36%) due to the decline in demand and the shift toward a cleaner energy mix.