The European Union is on its way to meet the 2020 final energy consumption target if it keeps steady on the same path, a European Commission energy spokeswoman said.

“The EU28 is also on a good pathway to achieve the primary energy consumption target 2020 if the current efforts are maintained,” Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told New Europe on September 7.

A report by the EU’s science arm, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), supports the European “Commission’s work as we continue to assess the energy efficiency progress,” Itkoken said.

Last month, ESTAT published its findings, concluding that the final energy consumption is currently below the 2020 target, the spokeswoman said, adding that an official Commission statement and updated analysis of the progress towards the 2020 energy efficiency targets will be published by the European Commission in its 2016 Energy Efficiency Progress Report/State of the Energy Union report.

According to the JRC report, a steady decline in energy consumption in the period from 2000 to 2014 has lowered EU final energy consumption from 1133 Mtoe in 2000 to 1061 Mtoe in 2014. “This puts the consumption below the indicative targets for 2020, set to 1,086 Mtoe by the European Energy Efficiency Directive. The saving achieved is equivalent to the whole energy consumption of Finland in 2014,” JRC said.

The report presents the status of energy consumption trends in the four main energy-consuming sectors in the EU: residential, tertiary (services), transport and industry over the period 2000-2014. The breakdown into sectors shows that the largest decline of final energy consumption has been registered in the industry (-17.62%), followed by a remarkable decrease (-9.52%) in the residential sector, while the transport sector has seen a slight increase (+2.21%) surpassed by services which have marked an energy consumption hike of 16.48%. The increasing trend in the tertiary sector is expected to continue as Europe moves to a more service-based industry.

According to the report, transport accounted for 33.22% of total final energy consumption in 2014, confirming transportation as the main energy consumer. Its final energy consumption in the EU-28 has grown from 344.9 Mtoe to 352.5 Mtoe. A decreasing trend, registered from 2007 to 2013, has been reversed in 2014 with a 1.4% growth due to recovering economies.

Final energy consumption in European industries has been falling since 2008. Reduced production of iron and steel – the highest energy consumption manufacturing subsector – has led to a 24% drop of the final energy consumption during the period 2000-2014. The financial and economic crisis has further affected the production, the JRC report read.

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