A recovery in carbon prices supported a switch from coal to gas in the power sector, while renewables also increased their share of the generation mix
- EU energy intensity in 2017 declined for the seventh year running, although this was around half the rate of 10-year average
- Power from gas and non-hydro renewables increased; all other generation sources declined
- CO2 emissions from energy use nonetheless increased by 1.5%, signficantly above 10-year average decline of 2% p.a.
+1.6% Growth in primary energy consumption
+4.3% Growth in gas consumption
+12% Growth of renewables in power generation
-0.9% Decline in nuclear power generation
- Primary energy consumption in the EU increased by 1.6% in 2017, its fastest growth rate since 2003 and well above the 10-year average annual decline of 1.0%.
- Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declined by 1.0% compared to 10-year average decline of 2.0% p.a.).
- Oil and gas remained the dominant primary fuel sources, accounting for 38% and 24% of primary energy consumed respectively.
- Gas production declined 3.1% as sharp declines in production from the Netherlands (-12.6%) offset modest increases elsewhere.
- Gas imports increased from 420 bcm to 436 bcm, of which an incremental 10 bcm was delivered via pipeline and 6 bcm as LNG.
- Refining capacity was broadly stable, having declined by 2 Mb/d over the previous decade. Refining throughput increased by a robust 2.3%.
- Total power generation increased by 1.3% to 3290 TWh – Europe’s highest output since 2012.
- Non-hydro renewable generation increased by 70 TWh to 670 TWh, more than three times its level in 2007. Of 2017’s growth, 80% came from wind.
- Gas-fired generation increased by 8.7%, its third consecutive increase and above the 10-year average annual decline of 1.2%. In contrast coal generation contracted by 3.3%, reflecting large declines in Germany.
- These trends partly reflected a recovery in carbon prices which favoured gas over coal in power generation.
- Nuclear output fell to 830 TWh – its lowest level since 1992 – as shutdowns in Germany and delays to French restarts outweighed increased output in Sweden and the Czech Republic.
- Hydro generation declined sharply by 50 TWh (-14%) owing to low rainfall, especially in Spain.
- CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption increased by 1.5%, their third consecutive annual increase and well above the 10-year average annual decline of 2.0%.