Greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in Europe
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity of power generation is falling across the EU. Climate mitigation and energy policies and legislation addressing air pollutant emissions from industrial installations support decarbonisation via a gradual switch to renewable or to less carbon-intensive fossil fuels and by improving the efficiency of transformation processes in the sector. By 2019, the GHG emission intensity of electricity generation had halved compared with 1990. If the declining trend of the past decade continued, EU electricity generation would fully decarbonise by 2050. To accomplish this, meet the EU GHG emission reductions targets for 2030 of 55% below 1990 levels and reach climate neutrality by 2050, additional polices and measures are needed.
Use of renewable energy for transport in Europe
The share of energy from renewable sources used for transport in the EU increased from under 2% in 2005 to almost 9% in 2019. Preliminary EEA data indicate that in 2020, this increased further to 10.1%. This suggests that collectively the EU countries reached the 10% target for share of energy from renewable sources in all forms of transport. However, EEA preliminary estimates show that this target was actually achieved by less than half of EU Member States.
Emissions and energy use in large combustion plants in Europe
Between 2004 and 2019, emissions from large combustion plants in the EU decreased: SO2 by 89%, nitrogen oxides by 60% and dust by 88%. Declines in emissions and improvements in environmental performance were largely driven by European policy, which sets legally binding emission limit values. The amount of fossil fuels used decreased by 23%, as energy production shifts to climate-friendly sources. Stricter emission limit values and policies aimed at increasing the use of renewable or cleaner fuels are expected to drive further declines in combustion plant emissions in coming years.
Share of energy consumption from renewable sources in Europe
With a 22.1% share of energy consumed from renewable sources in 2020, the EU reached its headline target (20%) for 2020, according to data from Eurostat. This success builds upon years of consistent work by all Member States, even if national progress is uneven. The exceptional circumstances of 2020, marked by disruptions in all economic sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have aided the achievement of the renewable energy target by lowering total energy consumption. An unprecedented transformation in the energy system will still be necessary to meet the current 32% renewable energy target set for 2030.