EU hits energy consumption target six years ahead of time

The EU announced savings across all energy sectors six years early. But, energy analysts reveal this could change, perhaps even reverse now that the UK has chosen to exit the EU. 

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Europe was set goals to decrease its energy consumption by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions where possible. Back in 2014, the EU, which was 28 countries strong at this time, managed to consume 72million tonnes of oil equivalent less than what was projected for 2020. This was according to a report created by the Joint Research Centre, which is the EU’s go-to for scientific analysis.

Environmental campaigners were jumping for joy at the news, but the European commission was less celebratory.

“Final energy consumption is currently below the 2020 target,” said a spokeswoman for the commission. “The EU-28 are are also on a good pathway to achieving the primary energy consumption target for 2020 if current efforts are maintained.”

The main contributors to the “remarkable” energy savings were efficiency improvements to electrical products, industry installations, fuel economy and the housing sector. Residential buildings cut their energy use by 9.5% from the year 2000 to 2014, but the industrial sector trail blazed at the top with an energy usage decrease of 17.5% over the same period.

Despite the excitement over the release of these figures, many energy analysts remain concerned that the UK’s decision to leave the EU could reverse the results within the next six years.

“Brexit creates enormous uncertainty over how the UK will continue to provide affordable and secure energy to its people. Energy efficiency works – and it’s time the government committed to at least match the ambition of energy saving actions taken by the rest of Europe.” Said Ingrid Holmes, director of the E3G thinktank.

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