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EU countries need to strengthen energy efficiency efforts to reach targets

According to the European Commission, primary energy consumption declined by 0.7% in 2018 (-0.1% only for final energy consumption), which is insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. The highest annual reductions in primary energy consumption were posted in Belgium, Austria and Greece, whereas the largest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Between 2005 and 2018, primary energy consumption decreased in all Member States except Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia and Poland.  Primary energy intensity fell in all Member States between 2005 and 2018; however, it grew in Denmark, Estonia and Luxemburg in recent years (between 2015 and 2018).

Energy consumption continues to evolve in line with activity growth, despite new policies and measures. In addition, some EU countries achieved much lower savings than what would be needed for 2018 to reach their cumulative savings requirements for 2014–2020. Reaching the 2020 energy efficiency target remains uncertain, as the fall in energy consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 may be offset by a strong energy demand recovery. Additional energy efficiency efforts will be required to meet the 2020 and 2030 savings targets.