Renewable energy facts!

Energy Union

The European Commission launched in February 2015 a new strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy.

The goal of the Energy Union is to give EU consumers – households and businesses – secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy. Achieving this goal will require a fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system.

The Energy Union Strategy is made up of five closely interrelated and mutually reinforcing dimensions, designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness:

Energy security, solidarity and trust: Diversifying Europe’s sources of energy and making better, more efficient use of energy produced within the EU.

A fully-integrated internal energy market: Using interconnectors which enable energy to flow freely across the EU – without any technical or regulatory barriers. Only then can energy providers freely compete and provide the best energy prices.

Energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand: Consuming less energy in order to reduce pollution and preserve domestic energy sources. This will reduce the EU’s need for energy imports.

Decarbonising the economy: Pushing for a global deal for climate change and encouraging private investment in new infrastructure and technologies.

Research, innovation and competitiveness: Supporting breakthroughs in low-carbon technologies by coordinating research and helping to finance projects in partnership with the private sector.

The State of the Energy Union monitors each year the progress made and highlights the issues where further attention is needed. It shows progress made since the Energy Union Framework Strategy was adopted to bring about the transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy.

Where does our energy come from?

The energy available in the European Union comes from energy produced in the EU and imported from third countries. In 2016, the EU produced around 46 % of its own energy, while 54 % was imported.

What do we produce in the EU?

The production of energy in the EU is spread across a range of different energy sources: solid fuels (largely coal), natural gas, crude oil, nuclear energy and renewable energy (such as hydro, wind and solar energy).

From where do we import energy and how dependent are we?

For its own consumption, the EU also needs energy which is imported from third countries. In 2016, the main imported energy product was petroleum products (including crude oil, which is the main component), accounting for almost two-thirds of energy imports into the EU, followed by gas (24 %) and solid fuels (9 %).

The stability of the EU’s energy supply may be threatened if a high proportion of imports are concentrated among relatively few external partners. In 2016, almost two-thirds of the extra-EU’s crude oil imports came from Russia (32 %), Norway (12 %), Nigeria and Saudi Arabia (both 8 %) and Kazakhstan (7 %). A similar analysis shows that more than three quarters of the EU’s imports of natural gas came from Russia (40 %), Norway (25 %) and Algeria (12 %), while almost three quarters of solid fuel (mostly coal) imports originated from Russia (30 %), Colombia (23 %) and Australia (15 %).

What is the share of renewable energy in the EU?

The share of renewable energy in energy consumption increased continuously between 2004 and 2016, from 8.5 % to 17.0 %, approaching the Europe 2020 target of 20 % by 2020.

Source: Eurostat

Take part in the challenge and see how much you can do right now!

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint. Is there anything that surprised you? Give 2 ideas on how you can reduce your carbon footprint from tomorrow?
  2. Check how much energy you use each day. You can use an energy use calculator from this site:
  3. What can you do to reduce your energy consumption by 10% each month?
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