EU lagging behind on 2020 energy efficiency target (GEN - 1087.00)

Final energy consumption stable in 2018 but remains 3,2% above 2020 target

GEN - 1087.00. New Eurostat figures show that final energy consumption in the EU reached 990 Mtoe in 2018, an increase of 0,02% compared to 2017. The greatest increases were observed in the energy consumption of buildings. The EU risks missing its binding energy efficiency objective to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020. Current energy savings plans from Member States risk falling short of the 2030 target as well by 6,2 percentage points.

The EU has a binding energy efficiency target of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020 and by 32,5% by 2030. That means end users should consume no more than 959 Mtoe by 2020 and 846 Mtoe by 2030. To reach the 2020 target, an additional 31 Mtoe would have to be saved in the remaining period.

The EU has recorded energy consumption levels below the 2020 target in the past. Final energy consumption peaked in 2006 (1.046 Mtoe or 9,1% over the 2020 target) and reached its lowest levels in 2014 (938 Mtoe or 2,2% below the 2020 target).

In 2018, final energy consumption increased in 15 of the 27 Member States compared to 2017. Drops were recorded in Greece (-5%), Austria (-3%) and Germany (-1%).

Energy efficiency is key to achieving carbon neutrality and should be at the core of the clean energy transition. The building sector accounts for around half the total energy consumption in the EU and should be the priority of the European Commission and Member States. The Eurostat figures show that there is much more to be done, and energy renovation measures in the building sector need to be scaled up to match the EU’s ambitions to reduce final energy consumption to 846 Mtoe by 2030.

Recommended Actions

Members may find it useful to check the Eurostat figures for their country and work with local and national authorities to develop more ambitious measures to achieve further reductions in energy consumption.

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  • GEN – 1087.01 – Eurostat Energy Consumption in 2018