Despite strong renewables policies, the EU is still highly dependent on imported fossil fuels!

Accoding to recently published AEBIOM Statistical Report, in 2014, the average EU-28 energy dependency was 53.4% and this share has been steadily increasing over the last two decades. 

Energy dependency

Interestingly, oil represented the highest import dependency (87,4%), followed by natural gas (67,2%) and solid fossil fuels such as coal (45,6%). See graph below.

Source: AEBIOM, 2016

Only Japan (94%), South Korea (85%) and Turkey (73%) have higher energy dependency than the EU (53%). Regarding China and the United States, these two countries are far below Europe with an energy dependency under 20%. Not suprisingly, countries such Saudi Arabia, Australia, Indonesia, Russia or Canada are among those that are completely energy independent.

Source: AEBIOM, 2016

According to European Commision:

“When looking at the nature of the energy dependency, it is important to note that 99,4% of the net imports of energy in Europe were fossil fuels. Such a dependency not only contributes to the weakening of the EU’s geopolitical influence, but also creates Gross Domestic Product (GDP) leakage across Europe that could amount to € 1 billion per day”


Bioenergy’s contribution to the EU’s 2020 objectives is crucial, but still not highly significant. For instance, in 2014, bioenergy accounted for 61% of all renewable energy consumed, which was 10% of the gross final consumption of energy in Europe. The heating sector was the biggest consumer of bioenergy (73%), followed by bioelectricity (14%) and biofuels (13%). Similarily to previous reports, the residential consumption has remained a strong driver with half of total bioheat consumption (50.1%).

Source: AEBIOM, 2016

Looking at the distribution of bioheat consumption, 5 countries (Germany, Sweden, France, Finland and Italy) accounted for more than 50% of all use in the EU.

Source: AEBIOM, 2016

Source: You can either download AEBIOM Key Findings Report 2016 for free, or purchase whole report under following link: AEBIOM Statistical Report 2016

Main photo: Rafal Chudy

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