The EU imports more than half of the energy it consumes and that can make it vulnerable to external energy suppliers such as Russia. To improve the situation, the European Commission presented the Energy Union plan to reduce this dependence, as well as to create a single European energy market. Read on to find out the key facts and figures about the EU’s energy imports and how it varies from country to country.
The cost of energy dependence
The EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes, including almost 90% of its crude oil, 66% of its natural gas and 42% of its solid fuels such as coal.In 2013 the bill for external energy amounted to about €400 billion.
Europe is also heavily dependent on one single supplier, namely Russia, responsible for a third of oil imports,39% of gas and 29% of solid fuels. Six EU countries depend on Russia as the supplier for their entire gas imports.
Towards increased energy security
The EU is now seeking to reduce this dependence by diversifying energy sources and suppliers, cutting back on energy consumption, boosting energy production and cooperation between countries and investing in renewables. These initiatives and others have all been outlined in the European energy union strategy presented by the Commission in February 2015.