Renewable energy was the largest contributor to primary energy production in the European Union in 2021, accounting for 41% of the total energy produced. This trend has been consistent since 2016, when renewable energy surpassed nuclear energy as the primary source. Nuclear energy was the second-largest source, making up 31% of the total energy production, followed by solid fuels at 18%, natural gas at 6%, crude oil at 3%, and other sources at 0.2%.
The distribution of primary energy production among EU member states varied greatly. Renewable energy sources were the sole contributor to primary energy production in Malta, while in other countries it represented the majority share. For instance, Latvia had a share of close to 100%, followed by Portugal at 98% and Cyprus at 96%. On the other hand, solid fuels were the dominant source of energy production in Poland, Estonia, and Czechia, with shares of 72%, 56%, and 45%, respectively.
The largest share of natural gas production was observed in the Netherlands at 58% and in Ireland at 42%, where it was accompanied by renewables and biofuels at 49%. In contrast, Denmark’s primary source of energy production was renewables and biofuels at 48%, while crude oil had the largest share at 35%.
The EU had to rely on imports from third countries to meet 58% of its energy consumption, making it necessary to consider imports alongside production when assessing the EU’s energy requirements.
Petroleum products, including crude oil, constituted the primary imported energy product, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the EU’s energy imports in 2021 (64%). This was followed by natural gas (25%) and solid fossil fuels (6%).