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Eurostat Renewable Energy Statistics 2021: in 2019 about 20% of the EU’s energy was renewable

Source: Eurostat

The statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, has updated data on renewable energy in the EU in 2019, providing statistics on the share of energy from all renewable sources in general and specifically in three consumption sectors - electricity, heating and cooling, and transport. 

In 2019, renewable energy accounted for 19.7 % of the energy used in the EU-27. This is just 0.3% below the target of a 20% share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption that have been set by the EU for 2020. In comparison, in 2004 renewable energy represented 9.6 % of energy consumed in the EU; in 2010 it was 14.4%. In 2019, among the EU member states, Sweden had the highest share, with 56.4% of energy coming from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption, followed by Finland (43.1%), Latvia (41%), Denmark (37.2%), and Austria (33.6%). The lowest share of renewable energy was recorded in Luxembourg (7.0%), Malta (8.5%), the Netherlands (8.8%) and Belgium (9.9%).

In the three analyzed sectors, the figures are as follows:

Electricity. Renewables accounted for 34% of gross electricity consumption in the EU in 2019, a slight increase from 32% in 2018. More than two-thirds of the total electricity produced from renewable energy sources was from wind and hydropower (35% each). The rest was generated by solar power (13%), solid biofuels (8%) and other renewables (9%). The fastest growing source is solar energy: in 2008 it accounted for only 1%. At a national level, Austria with 75% and Sweden with 71% lead the way in the amount of consumed electricity generated from renewable sources among the EU member states. Electricity consumption from renewables was also significant in Denmark (65%), Portugal (54%), and Latvia (53%). The outsiders in the share of electricity from renewable sources were Malta (8%), Cyprus, Luxembourg and Hungary (all 10%).

Heating and cooling. In 2019, 22.1% of energy used for heating and cooling came from renewable sources, compared to 11.7% in 2004. Leading countries in this sector are Sweden (66.1 %), Latvia (57.8 %), Finland (57.5 %) and Estonia (52.3 %). At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (6.3 %), the Netherlands (7.1 %) and Belgium (8.3 %) are the EU-27 countries with the smallest share of energy from renewable sources in heating and cooling.

Transport. In 2019, 8.9% of energy used in transport activities in the EU was renewable, compared to 1.6% in 2004. The share of renewables in transport fuel consumption varied from relatively high performance in Sweden (30.3%), Finland (21.3%) and in the Netherlands (12.5%) to low rates in Greece and Lithuania (both 4.0%) and Cyprus (3.3%). The largest increases in the EU were observed in Finland (+3.6%), Croatia (+3.3%) and the Netherlands (+2.9%).

In December 2019 the European Commission unveiled the European Green Deal, which pursues the ambitious goal for the EU to become the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Measures to achieve this goal range from drastic emission reductions, investing in advanced research and innovation, and preserving Europe's natural environment, to achieving a renewable energy share of at least 27% by 2030.