The 2022 State of the Energy Union report has been published by the Commission, highlighting the challenges that the energy sector has faced in the past 12 months and the progress made in addressing both these exceptional circumstances in the short-term and Europe’s long-term climate goals.
In particular, this seventh edition of the report takes stock of the EU’s energy policy response to the current energy crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine. 2022 has seen turbulence in energy markets, price volatility and energy insecurity across the world, which has had a huge impact on the EU’s energy system. To reflect the new geopolitical realities and to address the need for affordable, secure and sustainable energy for Europe, the EU and EU countries are reshaping and accelerating their energy and climate strategies.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said
This report shows what the EU has done in response to the current energy market crisis, and how much progress we have achieved overall. At the same time, it highlights how these developments fit in with our long-term climate goals.
The 2022 report takes stock of energy supply and demand in the EU, diversification of energy supply, the just transition, and the impact on consumers and businesses. It details the European policy response to diverse challenges, notably through the REPowerEU plan, but also through a range of other measures to address energy prices and ensure security of supply, including the use of Article 122 of the Treaty – the emergency article to address energy emergencies.
Fully in line with the European Green Deal, the REPowerEU plan includes measures to save energy, diversify and secure supplies, boost renewable energy deployment, and smartly combine investments and reforms. The report cites the adoption of new minimum gas storage obligations, the gas demand reduction targets and additional measures to reduce electricity demand to highlight the swiftness of the EU’s response and the leadership shown by the Commission.
These are the main findings of the report:
- All EU countries have implemented measures to tackle higher energy prices.
- The EU has already surpassed 91% of gas in storage.
- The share of Russian pipeline gas in EU imports has dropped from 41% in 2021 to 9% in September 2022.
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now a key source of supply, accounting for 32% of the EU’s total net gas imports.
- The EU generated a record 12% of its electricity from solar from May to August 2022, and 13% from wind.
- Early indications suggest that 2022 will be a record year for the European solar photovoltaics market, with an annual deployment growth of 17-26% in the largest EU countries markets.
- The share of renewables in the electricity mix is expected to grow from 37% in 2021 to 69% in 2030.
- With the EU pledging more than €21 billion in the coming years for hydrogen (from the Important Projects of Common European Interest mechanism and the Recovery and Resilience Facility), electrolyser manufacturers in Europe have committed to increase their capacity to manufacture electrolysers tenfold, to 17.5 GW by 2025.
- In 2020, the EU surpassed its targets on emissions reduction (32%), energy efficiency (5 to 6% lower than the 20% target) and renewables (22.1%). Even if figures rebounded in 2021, they remained below pre-pandemic levels.
- After falling by more than 5% in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, fossil fuel subsidies in the EU remained fairly stable in 2021, as the increase in transport and industry was compensated by the decreasing in fossil subsidies in the energy sector.
As in past years, the report outlines the progress made towards the implementation of the European Green Deal, in the areas ranging from energy efficiency to renewables, buildings, technology, energy security and affordability, and energy savings. It also includes a detailed analysis of the achievement of the energy and climate 2020 targets. Finally, it outlines the EU’s support to its neighbours and the new partnerships made to accelerate the global green and just energy transition.
Together with this report, the Commission is publishing energy snapshots for each EU country that provide a comprehensive overview of its energy situation. The State of the energy union report is also accompanied by a wide range of detailed reports and annexes – some of which will, exceptionally, only be released in November.