Renewables

EU green technology imports twice as high as exports – Eurostat

EU heavily dependent on solar panels, wind turbines imports Eurostat

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Published

November 29, 2022

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Published:

November 29, 2022

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Buyers in the European Union spent EUR 15.2 billion last year on solar panels, wind turbines, and liquid biofuels from abroad. The amount is more than two times higher than for exports of the green products, according to Eurostat.

In 2021, the EU spent EUR 15.2 billion on green energy products – wind turbines, solar panels and liquid biofuels – from other countries. Meanwhile, the EU exported green energy products worth less than half of the purchases from overseas – EUR 6.5 billion, Eurostat said.

The EU imported EUR 11.2 billion worth of solar panels, EUR 3.4 billion worth of liquid biofuels and EUR 0.6 billion worth of wind turbines.

The value of imports of solar panels and liquid biofuels was much greater than the corresponding value of EU exports of the same class of goods to countries outside the EU – exports amounted to EUR 2 billion and EUR 1.3 billion, respectively.

eu green energy products import solar panels biofuels wind turbines

In contrast, the value of exports of wind turbines to non-EU countries was far greater than the value of imports – EUR 0.6 billion against EUR 3.3 billion, Eurostat said.

Imports of wind turbines, liquid biofuels and solar panels into the EU were higher in 2021 than in 2012, showing an overall increase in imports of green energy products (416%, 7% and 2%, respectively).

Exports of all three products were also higher than in 2012 (13%, 173% and 4%, respectively).

eu green energy products export solar panels biofuels wind turbines

Imports came from China, India, Argentina

China and India, with a combined share of 99% (64% plus 35%), were the source of almost all the imports of wind turbines in 2021. The largest EU export destination for wind turbines was the United Kingdom (42%), followed by the United States (15%) and Taiwan (11%).

China (89%) was by far the largest partner for imports of solar panels in 2021. The EU exported the largest share of solar panels to the United States (23%), followed by Singapore (19%), the United Kingdom and Switzerland (both 9%).

The EU mostly exports photovoltaic and wind power equipment to the UK, US, Singapore and Taiwan

Just over two fifths of EU imports of liquid biofuels in 2021 came from Argentina (41%). The UK (14%), China and Malaysia (both 13%) also had double-digit shares in imports.

The United Kingdom (47%) and the United States (30%) were the largest destinations for exports of liquid biofuels, according to Eurostat.

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