The European Electricity Market


Electricity is the most widespread source of energy in Europe. The European energy industry is dominated by a group of international players active at all levels in the value chain in multiple markets. There are approximately 282 million metered electricity customers in the EU. The largest markets are Germany (44 million electricity customers), Italy (38 million electricity customers), France (35 million electricity customers), the UK (30 million electricity customers), and Spain (28 million electricity customers).

The total gross generation of electricity in EU28 was 3,190,681 GWh in 2014. Conventional thermal plants accounted for 48.4% and nuclear 27.5%. Renewable energy sources, primarily hydro, wind and solar PV, generated 23.9% of the total output, up from 16.9% five years earlier.

Gross electricity production in the EU 28 (source: Eurostat)

 

Volume [GWh]

Share

Gross electricity generation

2005

2014

2005

2009

2014

Solar PV

1'460

92'325

0.0%

0.4%

2.9%

Solar thermal

0

5'455

0.0%

0.0%

0.2%

Nuclear

997'699

876'293

29.7%

27.5%

27.5%

Hydro

383'067

406'473

11.4%

12.2%

12.7%

Geothermal

5'397

6'219

0.2%

0.2%

0.2%

Tide, Wave and Ocean

481

483

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Wind

70'453

253'157

2.1%

4.1%

7.9%

Combustible fuels

1'891'559

1'545'612

56.3%

55.5%

48.4%

Other

10'318

4'572

0.3%

0.1%

0.1%

Total

3'360'434

3'190'589

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

The majority of the electricity is consumed by the enterprise and public sectors. Household electricity consumption amounted to 30.9 percent of the total consumption in 2012 – on average around 4,700 kWh per household/year. The consumption in Norway, Finland and Sweden is significantly higher because of the widespread use of electric heating. Households in Romania, Poland, and Lithuania use less than 50 percent of the EU average.