The main objective of this strategy is to give households and businesses, secure, sustainable and affordable energy throughout Europe. The Energy Union strategy focuses on some key dimensions which are designed to bring the aforementioned objectives to light. These are, energy security and trust, decarbonisation of the economy, a fully integrated internal energy market, energy efficiency and moderation of demand and finally, research, innovation and competitiveness.
The strategy undergoes monitoring annually and ensures issues are highlighted where attention is further needed. This, in turn, shows the progress made since the adoption of the Energy Union.
Source of Energy
Back in 2017, the source of energy was about 45% from the EU, while 55% of energy was imported from third countries. The type of energy sources available was made up of Nuclear Energy, Petroleum Products, Fossil Fuels, Natural Gas and Renewable Energy (solar, wind and hydro).
The shares of these sources vary between EU member states. Nuclear energy accounts for 40% in France and 31% in Sweden. Petroleum products account for a total energy share available in Luxemburg 64%, Malta 88% and Cyprus 93%. Fossil fuels come from Poland at 48% and Estonia at 71%, whilst Natural Gasses are produced in the UK, Nederland’s and Italy. Renewable Energy accounts for a total of 40% in Sweden and Latvia.
Types of Energy Consumed in the EU
From the total energy that’s available in the EU, approximately two-thirds are consumed by EU citizens, industries, transports and other similar end-users. The other third is lost during electricity generation and distribution.
According to sources from Eurostat, the most consumed of all energies is Petroleum Products. In the EU, Petroleum products like petrol, diesel or heating oil, that represent 41% of final energy consumption, are mostly consumed. Following Petroleum products comes Natural gasses at 22%, electricity at 21%, direct renewable energy use that’s not transformed into electricity at 9%. The real consumption of renewable energy is close to 10% because other sources like wind power, solar photovoltaic and hydropower are included in electricity.
Energy is consumed by various economy sectors like households, transport systems, industries, services and agriculture. The industry sector consumes 31%, the transport sector consumes 28%, households consume 25%, services 13% and agriculture consume 2% of the final energy consumption.
The majority of electricity is consumed in the EU which comes from power stations burning fossil fuels. Approximately one-fourth of total energy is consumed by electricity and comes from sources like fossil fuel burning power stations, nuclear plants and finally renewable energies like wind turbines, solar power and hydro plants.
Energy and the Environment connection
Climate change threatens sustainable development and scientific research realizes that the increased temperatures are mostly caused by greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), a by-product of fuel-burning from cars, homes and of course power plants. Between 2010 until today, we have seen a significant decrease in GHG and an overall improvement to the environment.
Additionally, efficiency is vital and this is one of the Energy Unions strategies, to reduce energy consumption in the next decade.
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Image Source by EUobserver