The EU’s reliance on fossil fuels for its overall energy supply in 2022 showed a slight increase on 2021, from 69.9 to 70.9 per cent, according to figures released Tuesday by the EU statistics agency Eurostat. Eurostat’s figures are illustrated by the ratio of fossil fuels in gross available energy (the total energy demand of a country or region).

The percentage had been decreasing significantly over the last decades. Since 1990, the first year for which data has been available, it dropped by around 11.5 percentage points (pp), mostly due to the increase in renewable energy.

In 2022, Malta (96.1%) remained the EU country with the highest share of fossil fuels in gross available energy, followed by Cyprus (89.3%) and the Netherlands (87.6%). Most of the other EU countries had shares between 50% and 85%. Only Sweden (30.4%) and Finland (38.3%) had shares below 50%. The largest, if rather small, decreases in 2022, compared with 2021, in the share of fossil fuels in gross available energy were in Latvia (-3.7 pp), Slovakia (-2.1 pp), and Hungary (-1.9 pp). The largest increases were in Estonia (+4.2 pp), France (+2.9 pp), and Bulgaria (2.8 pp).

The year 2022 was however exceptional from the energy perspective. It was the the first full calendar year after major restrictions related to COVID-19 were lifted. It was also marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, and price spikes of various energy commodities. A decrease in nuclear power production was also noted in 2022. Even if renewable energy sources have increased, this was not enough to compensate for the decrease in nuclear energy.

Source: EUbusiness

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