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Electricity in Europe provides a synthetic overview of electric system consumption, generation and exchanges in ENTSO-E* during a given year. It comments on the main evolutions in comparison to the previous year.

The 2015 edition is mainly based on provisional data, as of April 2016, delivered by ENTSO-E members, and published on the ENTSO-E data portal as “Monthly Statistics”. It is complementary to  the Statistical Factsheet and the Yearly Statistics & Adequacy ­Retrospect, which are issued once the data is definitive.

* In this document, ‘in ENTSO-E’ means in the area covered by TSO members of ENTSO-E,  i.e., 41 members covering 34 countries.

Main facts

Energy transition in progress

ENTSO-E electricity consumption increased in 2015

After several years of decrease, overall electricity consumption in the ENTSO-E perimeter reached 3,278 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2015. This 1.4 % increase can be explained by the colder temperatures observed in the beginning of the year compared to 2014, and by a slight economic upturn.

In 2015, the peak load of the overall electrical system was reached on 5 February (528 gigawatts (GW)), linked to a cold period, and was higher than the previous year (+6 GW). However, this is still below the historical maximum of 557 GW reached in February 2012, when an exceptional period of cold weather struck the main part of Europe.

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Renewable generation continues to increase whilst hydro and nuclear generation decrease

The net generating capacity (NGC) of hydro has been stable for several years. However, in 2015, due to a decrease in rainfall, hydro generation was 6.5 % lower than the previous year. Moreover, the shutdown of nuclear plants (-1.8 GW) in Germany and Great Britain have contributed to a reduction of nuclear generation by 2.66 % (-23 TWh). The growth in renewable power has mainly been driven by wind generation, which increased by 24.5 % in 2015.

The combined effects of the development of wind farms (136 GW) and suitable meteorological conditions, were substantially responsible for these figures. In total, the capacity of Renewable Electricity Sources (RES) (excluding hydro) amounts to almost 25.8 % of the total NGC of  ENTSO-E.

However, to compensate for the reduction in hydro and nuclear and their load growth, the use of fossil fuel resources increased
in 2015 by 1.2 %, despite the reduction of capacity (-3.3 %).

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Interconnected network allows exchange balance of countries to fluctuate from year to year

Even if the structure of exchanges is rather stable, the exchange balance of ENTSO-E countries can fluctuate due to border capacities, market prices, market coupling and development of renewables. In 2015, 12 countries within the ENTSO-E perimeter exported more than 10 % of their annual national generation to neighbouring countries. Fourteen other countries of ENTSO-E imported more than 10 % of their annual internal consumption needs from other ENTSO-E countries.

Exporting countries were mainly situated along a North-East to South-West axis, which is characterised by an energy mix based on hydro, coal and renewables. The ENTSO-E area had an export balance (6 TWh) in 2015.

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Further sections

Data sources and references

Source of data:

Data for 2015 is taken from ENTSO-E’s monthly statistics, whereas data from 2014 is based on ENTSO-E’s yearly statistics. Data used for consumption, ­generation and exchange balance figures in Sections “Consumption“, “Generation” and “Exchanges” is ­taken from ENTSO-E’s data portal:

Data used for “net export” and “net import” calculations in Chapter “Exchanges” is taken from the ENTSO-E transparency platform (data pre-5.1.15):

Annotation: A percentage point (pp) is the arithmetic difference between two percentages (for example going from 4 % to 7 % is a 3 percentage point increase). In this document, all percentage points represent the evolution of coverage rate.

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This publication, mainly based on data collected by ENTSO-E Statistical Data Correspondents, has been written by Data Expert Group Members:

Apostolos Anagnostou (IPTO SA)
Alexandre Cadet (RTE)
Zdeněk Fučik (ČEPS)
Lukasz Jeźyński (PSE)
Raymond Kok (TenneT NL)
Nikolaos Kouveliotis (IPTO SA)

Philippe Lagarrigue (ENTSO-E)
Roberto de la Fuente (REE)
Erik Pharabod (RTE)
Cristian Radoi (Transelectrica)
Ernst Reittinger-Hubmer (APG)
Florian Schwaiger (TenneT GER)