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Electricity in EU in 2022

Global Ranking: #18
60.3% #51 Low-carbon electricity
720.34 watts #45 Generation / person
276.28 gCO2eq/kWh #58 Carbon Intensity
0.5% net imports Electricity imports

In 2022, the EU's electricity consumption saw more than 60% derived from low-carbon energy sources, signifying a clear move towards sustainable practices. Nuclear power played a significant role in this trend, providing nearly 22% of the total derived energy. In contrast, fossil fuels accounted for close to 40% of the consumption, with gas and coal standing as the primary contributors at almost 20% and 16% respectively. Wind, hydropower, and solar energy also contributed substantially to low-carbon generation, accounting for approximately 15%, 10%, and 7% respectively. In terms of EU's electricity footprint, net imports of electricity made up a little over half a percent.


The EU can foster the expansion of already present low-carbon electricity generation by looking upon examples from successful counterparts. One such example is France, where nuclear energy accounts for over 60% of the electricity generation. Similarly, Denmark and Ireland have utilized wind energy to generate more than half and one-third of their electricity respectively. This shows that a significant increase in low-carbon electricity generation is achievable in the EU through the expansion of existing nuclear and wind energy capacity. Furthermore, the EU can also consider exploring solar power expansion, learning from countries like Chile where solar energy contributes to 17% of electricity production.


The history of low-carbon electricity in the EU has seen fluctuations, particularly in the nuclear energy sector which experienced high growth in the 1980s. The decade began with an increase of more than 80TWh in nuclear electricity generation in 1981, with a significant rise also being noted in 1984 and 1985. However, the turn of the century saw more volatility, with declines in nuclear generation seen in 2007, 2009, and significantly in 2020. The same period also noted fluctuations in hydroelectricity generation with several high and low years, emphasizing the inherent unpredictability of relying on climate-dependent resources. Despite the lows, the last two years showed a promising upturn, particularly marked by an increase in wind generation, thereby emphasizing the growing importance of this source in the low-carbon electricity mix.

Data Sources

The data sources are .