Feature Report: Tables Summing Up Energy in Europe

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Energy: Europe depends on the rest of the world

A country’s energy dependence rate is the proportion of energy it imports divided by its total consumption. Expressed as a percentage, it reflects how much an economy depends on other countries to meet its energy needs. This article reviews the situation of the European Union.

Image of a European consumer calculating his energy bills increased by imports.

Europe Imports More Than Half Its Energy

More than half the primary energyAll energy sources that have not undergone any conversion process and remain in their natural state.. – oil, gas and coalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... – consumed by the European Union (53.6% in 2016) has to be imported from outside countries. Fossil fuels still account for a large proportion of the European energy system, at more than 73%.

Europe’s energy dependence has significantly increased since the 1990s (it amounted to only 43.1% in 1995). It is especially noticeable in natural gas, particularly due to the gradual depletionIn the oil industry, depletion corresponds to the gradual decline in production from an oil or gas well... of deposits in the North Sea.

This graph indicates Europe’s overall dependence rate (pale orange) and its dependence rate for natural gas (dark orange).

Europe’s energy dependence rate between 1990 and 2016

Varying Energy Dependence Among European Countries

Energy dependence rates vary according to each country’s own resources and the choices they make for their energy mixThe range of energy sources of a region. . This table shows rates for six countries1.

Energy dependence rate for six European countries in 1995 and 2016

Thanks to gas from the North Sea, the United Kingdom was a net energy exporter in 1995. So was Poland, which produced a great deal of coal. However, the situation has radically changed for both countries. France has reduced its dependence thanks to its extensive nuclear capacity.


1 Source: E.U. – https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/99fc30eb-c06d-11e8-9893-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-79929745