Energy consumption increased in 2017 across the European Union as a whole. For the third consecutive year, both primary and final energy increased by around 1%, which is 5.3% above the commitment of the 28 to reduce their energy consumption by 20% in 2020, according to data from Eurostat published last week.
According to the information published by Eurostat, at the domestic level, Spain reached 125.6 million equivalent tons of primary energy consumption, which represents an increase of 5.4% compared to 2016. The final energy consumption also increased in Spain by 2.3%.
According to the energy efficiency commitments, primary energy consumption should not exceed 1,483 million equivalent tons and the final energy consumption should not exceed 1,086 million tons by 2020.
The primary energy consumed in 2017 in the EU was 5.3% higher than the energy efficiency target for 2020
The revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive establishes that in 2030 the primary energy consumption should not exceed 1,273 million equivalent tons and the final energy consumption should not exceed 956 million equivalent tons, in order to achieve the goal of increasing energy efficiency by 32, 5%. The primary energy consumed in 2017 in the EU was 5.3% higher than the energy efficiency target for 2020. Consumption has fallen by 0.4% since 1990, the first year that Eurostat collected data.
However, over the years this variable has fluctuated enormously. For example, it reached its highest peak in 2006, with 1,729 million equivalent tons, which was 16.6% above the commitment for 2020. On the other hand, the lowest record of energy consumption occurred in 2014, when 1,511 million equivalent tons were consumed, that is, 1.9% above the target. In the last three years, consumption increased again, to 1,537 Mtoe in 2015, 1,547 Mtoe in 2016 and 1,561 Mtoe in 2017.
In terms of final energy consumption in 2017, member countries were 3.3% above the energy efficiency target set for 2020. The peak of final energy consumption occurred in 2006, with 1,195 million tons equivalent and between 2006 and 2017 they fell by 0.6% to 1,122 million tons.
Between 2014 and 2017 the final energy consumption has increased reaching 1,088 Mtoe in 2015; 1,110 Mtep in 2016 and 1,122 Mtoe in 2017
Eurostat data show that the year with the lowest figure was 2014, with 1,065 million tons, 1.9% below 2020. Between 2014 and 2017 the final energy consumption increased to 1,088 Mtep in 2015; 1,110 Mtoe in 2016 and 1,122 Mtoe in 2017.
By countries, Estonia was the EU nation that most reduced its primary energy consumption in 2017 (-5.4%), compared to Malta, which grew the most. Estonia was followed by the United Kingdom (-1.6%); Ireland (-1.4%); Sweden (-1.6%); Finland (-1.2%); The Netherlands (-0.5%); France (-0.3 percent) and Belgium (-0.3 percent). By contrast, the largest increase was in Malta (+ 12.9%) followed by Romania (+ 5.8%); Spain (+ 5.4%) and Slovakia (+ 5.1%).
Finally, when it comes to final energy consumption, the largest decrease occurred in Belgium and the largest increase in Slovakia. During the year 2017, final energy consumption fell only in four member states compared to 2016. This is Belgium (-1.2%); United Kingdom (-0.8%); Italy (-0.6%) and Slovenia (-0.3%).
On the contrary, the largest increases were recorded in Slovakia (+ 7%); Malta (+ 6.7%); and Poland (+ 6.5%). Among the 23 EU countries where final energy consumption fell between 2006 and 2017, only in Greece (-2.3%) did the annual average decrease more than 2% compared to the increase in consumption in Malta (+ 2.7%); Poland (+ 1.4%); Lithuania (0.7%); Austria (0.3%) and Hungary (+ 0.1%).