LONDON: Clean energy sources accounted for over half of Europe's primary energy production in 2012, according to data just released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Energy produced domestically by the 28 EU member states amounted to 794 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe), with nuclear energy leading the way with a 29% share in 2012. Renewable energy production which includes biomass, hydropower, geothermal energy, wind energy and solar energy took second place with a 22% share of overall European energy output, meaning that combined, clean energy produced over half of EU's energy production.
These findings come just weeks after the EU announced the binding target of 27% renewable energy by 2030, as well as a 40% reduction on 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels.
France played the main role in EU energy production in 2012, followed closely by Germany, the UK, Poland and the Netherlands. Together these five states produced 64% of total energy in the EU.
Nuclear energy was a dominant power source for France and Germany, with the former nation producing 48% of the EU’s nuclear energy. Both countries were also at the forefront of renewable energy production within the EU block.
Similarly, in 2012, 19% of Europe’s renewable energy was developed in Germany, and 20% of Europe’s renewable power came from Sweden and Italy.
EU energy consumption for 2012 stood at 1680 Mtoe, a decrease of 8% on 2006's level, with 24 out of 28 member states decreasing inland energy consumption during the time frame examined. This reduction signals a return to the energy consumption levels of the early 1990s, which in 1990 amounted to 1670 Mtoe.
In 2012, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain were the five largest consumers of energy, and combined they account for 64% of total EU28 energy consumption.
However, the energy dependence rate within EU remained quite high, standing at 53%. Of the 28 member states, Malta was the most reliant on external energy sources, importing a shocking 100% of its energy. States such as Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland were also notable for their high levels of energy dependence.
In 2012, the only member state which was a net exporter of energy was Denmark.
By Alana Ryan