In 2021, primary energy consumption in the EU reached 1 309 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), a 5.9% increase compared with 2020, but still below the 2019 level (1 354 Mtoe). Data show that the EU has moved further away from the 2030 target, the distance widened to 16.1% in 2021, after having been closest to the target in 2020 with just 9.5% away from it.

Final energy consumption reached 968 Mtoe in 2021, a 6.8% increase compared with 2020 and a 1.8% decrease compared with 2019. In 2021, final energy consumption was 14.4% away from the 2030 target, while in 2020, it was 7.1% away from it.

This information comes from the most recent annual data on energy statistics published by Eurostat. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

After a slump in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic across sectors, EU energy consumption in 2021 increased again, although very far from its peak in 2006 when primary energy consumption was 34.0% above the 2030 target and final energy consumption was 23.6% above the same target.

Although primary energy consumption increased in 2021, the 1 309 Mtoe registered continued to be very low: the second lowest level since 1990 (the first year for which data are available), and the lowest was in 2020 (1 235 Mtoe).

Compared with the 2017-2019 average, which is more representative than the years affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, primary energy consumption decreased by 4.6% at the EU level and final energy consumption by 2.1%. A significant part of this drop was related to COVID-19-related restrictions, which continued to be felt in 2021.

Primary and final energy consumption continued to drop in 18 Member States 

When comparing with the 2017-2019 average, 18 Member States registered a decrease in both primary and final energy in 2021, maintaining the 2020 tendency, when all EU Member States saw drops in primary and final energy consumption.

Primary energy consumption decreased the most in Estonia (-16.8%), Portugal (-13.3%) and Greece (-10.5%). The highest increases were in Lithuania (+5.7%), Poland (+2.8%) and Romania (+2.2%).

Compared with the 2017-2019 average, the highest drops in final energy consumption were registered in Malta (-10.0%), Cyprus (-9.7%) and Portugal (-7.1%), while the highest increases were in Romania (+7.5%), Bulgaria (+3.9%) and Hungary and Czechia (both +3.3%).

By Energy