I blogged earlier about new natural gas and renewable power generation capacity installed in the EU in 2010. It is interesting to look at the long term trends in EU energy consumption since 1990.
First of all, between 1990 and 2009 total energy consumption in the EU remained almost constant, increasing by only 2% over almost two decades. Secondly, coal consumption dropped dramatically by 41% during the same period. The gap was filled natural gas, consumption of which increased by 41%, and renewables which increased by 116%.
To reduce carbon emissions, the EU committed to what it has labeled 20-20-20 by 2020.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% from 1990 levels by 2020
- Increase the share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption to 20%
- 20% increase in energy efficiency
The most recent GHG emissions data from the European Environment Agency suggest that the EU will meet the first of these objectives.