EU dependency on fossil fuel imports on rise despite energy consumption decrease
In 2015 gross inland energy consumption in the European Union (EU) is below its 1990 level but EU dependency on fossil fuel imports is on the rise.
Gross inland energy consumption which reflects the energy quantities necessary to satisfy all inland consumption amounted in the European Union (EU) to 1,626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2015. This is 2.5% below its 1990 level and down by 11.6% compared to its peak of almost 1,840 Mtoe in 2006.
According to the figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, fossil fuels continued to represent by far the main source of energy accounting for nearly three-quarters of the EU energy consumption of in 2015. Their share has constantly decreased over the past decades, from 83% in 1990 to 73% in 2015. On the other hand, the EU dependency on imports of fossils fuels has increased, with 73% imported in 2015 compared to 53% in 1990. While in 1990 one tonne of fossil fuels was imported for each tonne produced in the EU, by 2015 three tonnes were imported for each tonne produced.
Turkey largest energy consumer in Balkans
In the Balkans, the largest energy consumer is Turkey with 131.9 Mtoe of energy consumption in 2015. It is a significant increase from 52.3 Mtoe in 1990 and 85.6 Mtoe in 2005. In Romania, energy consumption decreased from 58.1 Mtoe in 1990 and 39.2 Mtoe in 2005 to 32.4 Mtoe in 2015.
When it comes to the share of fossil fuels, Cyprus is the country which is the most reliant on fossil fuels with 94% of energy consumption from fossil fuels. In 1990, this country was 100% reliant on fossil fuels.
The share of fossil fuels has decreased over the period 1990-2015, most notably in Romania, from 96% to 74%, Macedonia, from 98% to 76%, and Albania, from 76% to 59%. Turkey is the only country with the increase in the share of fossil fuels.
According to the data, the most dependent country on fossil fuels import is Cyprus with 103% of import dependency on fossil fuels. Of all Balkan countries, Albania is the least dependent on fossil fuels import with only 11%. Its dependence on fossil fuels import decreased from 73% in 2005.
EU committed to 20% reduction of energy consumption
Fossil fuels include all non-renewable energy sources such as coal, coal products, natural gas, derived gas, crude oil, petroleum products and non-renewable wastes. They are carbon-based and their combustion results in the release of carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is estimated that roughly 80% of all manmade CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions originate from fossil fuels combustion.
The EU has committed itself to a 20% reduction of energy consumption by the year 2020 compared to baseline projections. This objective is also known as the 20% energy efficiency target. In other words, primary energy consumption should not exceed 1,483 Mtoe while final energy consumption should not exceed 1,086 Mtoe in 2020.
Energy and climate change objectives for 2020 include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, the increase in the share of renewable energy up to 20% and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency.
The EU Directive on energy efficiency adopted in 2012 establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the EU to ensure the achievement of the 20% headline target on energy efficiency. In 2014, EU countries agreed on a new energy efficiency target of at least 27% or greater by 2030 while the European Commission proposed for 2030 a binding energy efficiency target of 30% for the EU.