The EU reduces its annual share of renewable energy consumption for the first time

The EU reduces its annual share of renewable energy consumption for the first time


The European Union reached a 21.8% proportion of gross final energy consumption from renewable sources in 2021, which is 0.3 percentage points compared to 2020 and the first decrease ever recorded.

According to Eurostat data, released this Thursday, this share of 21.8% is well below the target of 32% set for 2030 in the EU as a whole, so countries must intensify their efforts, even more if one takes into account that the European Commission issued its proposal to modify the Renewable Energy Directive in 2021, where it intends to increase this target to 40%, and the REPowerEU plan for 2022 further raises this target to 45%.

Sweden led the 2021 ranking with more than half of its energy coming from renewable sources in its gross final energy consumption (62.6%), relying mainly on a mix of biomass, hydropower, wind, heat pumps and liquid biofuels.

Behind were Finland (43.1%) and Latvia (42.1%), which mainly use biomass and hydroelectric, as well as Estonia (37.6%), which depends mainly on biomass and wind; Austria (36.4%), mainly hydroelectric and biomass; and Denmark (34.7%), mostly biomass and wind.

Fifteen of the 27 EU Member States were below the EU average in 2021, specifically Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovakia, Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland.

The lowest shares of renewables were recorded in Luxembourg (11.7%), Malta (12.2%), the Netherlands (12.3%), Ireland (12.5%) and Belgium (13.0%) . Spain was in thirteenth position with 20.7%.


The Eurostat statistical series, which begins in 2004 and collected by Servimedia, indicates that Spain ranked twelfth in 2009 (13.0%) and sixteenth in 2013 (15.1%). Sweden has always led the ranking, followed by Finland in 2010 and since 2014, or Latvia between 2004 and 2007, in 2009 and between 2011 and 2013.

By contrast, the lowest shares of renewables were for Malta from 2004 to 2012 and in 2020; Luxembourg between 2013 and 2017, and in 2019 and 2021; and the Netherlands in 2018.

All EU countries have improved gross final consumption of energy from renewable sources since 2004, with the largest increases for Sweden (24.1 percentage points more), Denmark (19.9) and Estonia (19.2). In the case of Spain, the increase is 12.4 percentage points, somewhat more than the EU average (12.2 points).

In the decade between 2012 and 2021, only Hungary has reduced its share of renewables (-1.4 points). The biggest rises belong to Sweden (13.2 points more), Estonia (12.0) and Cyprus (11.3). In this case, Spain has raised it 6.5 points.

Renewable energy sources cover solar thermal and photovoltaic, hydroelectric (including tidal, wave, and ocean), wind, geothermal, and all forms of biomass (including biowaste and liquid biofuels).

(SERVIMEDIA) 19-JAN-2023 13:34 (GMT +1)MGR/clc

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