EU fossil fuel dependency rises as energy use falls

EU dependency on fossil fuel imports is rising as energy consumption falls. That’s according to a new release of 2015’s fuel figures from Eurostat, which shows European energy consumption reached a total of 1,626 million tonnes […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

EU dependency on fossil fuel imports is rising as energy consumption falls.

That’s according to a new release of 2015’s fuel figures from Eurostat, which shows European energy consumption reached a total of 1,626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe).

This means energy use was 2.5% less than in 1990 and down 11.6% from its peak of almost 1,840Mtoe in 2006.

The report shows fossil fuel use had fallen but was still the main source of energy used by a significant margin, accounting for 73% of the EU’s consumption in 2015, down from 83% 15 years earlier.

However, dependency on imported fossil fuels increased over the period, with 73% imported in 2015 compared with 53% in 1990.

Most of the EU Member States have seen their dependency on fossil fuel imports increase between 1990 and 2015.

This was notably the case for the UK, which saw a massive rise in dependency rate from 2% to 43%.

In 2015, the Member State by far the least dependent on fossil fuel imports was Denmark (4%).

Germany was the main user of energy in the EU and consumed 19% of total supplies, ahead of France at 16% and the UK at 12%.

In every EU Member State, the share of fossil fuels in energy consumption decreased between 1990 and 2015, most notably in Denmark (from 91% to 69%), Latvia (from 83% to 61%) and Romania (from 96% to 74%).

UK fossil fuel dependency recently hit record lows.