Energy Consumption


EU27 Gas and electricity account for nearly 2/3 of total energy* consumption

Total energy consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry by source

The chemical industry transforms energy and raw materials into products required by other industrial sectors as well as by final consumers. The cost of energy and raw materials is a major factor in determining the competitiveness of the EU27 chemical industry on the global market.

In 2018, the fuel and power consumption of the EU27 chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, amounted to 49.1 million tonnes of oil equivalent. EU27 Gas and electricity account for nearly two thirds of total energy* consumption.

The EU27 chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, significantly reduced its fuel and power consumption from 1990 to 2018. Most of the energy used by the chemical industry as feedstock is stored in products and can still be recycled. Regarding other raw materials, the chemical industry uses a wide variety of natural and processed feedstocks, including metals, minerals and agricultural raw materials such as sugar, starch and fats.

Energy in all products: consists mainly of gas (natural gas, G3000, and manufactured gases C0350-0370), electricity (E7000), oil and petroleum products (excluding biofuel portion) (O4000XBIO), heat (H8000), solid fossil fuels (C0000X0350-0370), non-renewable waste (W6100_6220), renewables and biofuels (RA000), and others such as peat and peat products (P1000), oil shale and oil sands (S2000) and nuclear heat (N900H).

EU27 Fuel and power consumption* falls 24% since 1990

Fuel and power consumption in the EU27 chemical* industry

Total energy consumption in the EU27 chemical sector was valued at 49.1 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018, down from 64.7 million tonnes in 1990 (24% less). Energy consumption in the EU27 chemical sector went down by an average of 1.0% per annum between 1990 and 2018. EU27 Energy consumption in chemicals accounted for 20.3% of total industry energy consumption in 2018.

In 1990, the fuel and power consumption of the EU27 manufacturing industry amounted to 310.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent. Between 1990 and 2017, the sector considerably decreased its fuel and power consumption by 68.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The amount of energy consumed in 2018 was 20.8% less than in 1990.

EU27 Gas consumption* falls 32% since 1990

Gas consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry: Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent

More than one third of total energy consumption in the EU27 chemical sector is attributable to “gas” (34.7% in 2018, down from 38.6% in 1990). Gas consumption in the EU27 chemical sector accounts for more than 21% of total industry consumption in 2018.

Gas energy consumption is the sum of natural gas (G3000), and manufactured gases (C0350-0370). “Gas” consumption in the EU27 chemical sector was valued at 17.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018 (far below the 25.0 million reported in 1990). “Gas” consumption went down by an average of 1.4% per annum between 1990 and 2018, and by 31.8% in 2018 compared to 1990.

EU27 Electrical energy consumption* falls 12% since 1990

Electrical energy consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry: Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent

“Electrical energy” consumption accounts for 29.6% of total energy consumption of the EU27 chemical sector in 2018 (up from 25.6% in 1990). “Electrical energy” consumption in chemicals accounted in 2018 for 17.7% of total industry (down from 21.5% in 1990).

“Electrical energy” consumption (E7000) in the EU27 chemical business area was valued at 14.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018 (below the 15.5 million reported in 1990). “Electrical energy” consumption went down by an average of 0.5% per annum between 1990 and 2018. “Electrical energy” consumption went down by 12.1% in 2018 compared to 1990.

EU27 Total petroleum consumption* falls 18% since 1990

Total petroleum products consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry: Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent

“Petroleum” consumption accounted for 16.2% of total energy consumption of the EU27 in 2018 (slightly down from 14.9% in 1990). “Petroleum” consumption in the EU27 chemical sector accounted for 31.8% of total industry petroleum consumption in 2018.

“Oil and petroleum products” consumption (excluding biofuel portion) (O4000XBIO) in the EU27 chemical sector was valued at 8.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018, compared to the 9.7 million registered in 1990. “Petroleum” consumption went down at an average of 0.7% per annum between 1990 and 2018. “Petroleum” consumption fell by 17.6% in 2018 compared to 1990.

EU27 Solid Fuels consumption* falls 61% since 1990

Solid fuels consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry: Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent

“Solid fossil fuels” consumption accounted for 5.3% of energy consumption of the EU27 chemical sector in 2018, far below the 10.5% registered in 1990. The share of “Solid Fuels” consumption in chemicals to total industry was valued at 20.9% in 2018.

“Solid fossil fuels” consumption (C0000X0350-0370) in the EU27 chemical sector was valued at 2.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018, far below the 6.8 million registered in 1990. “Solid fossil fuels” consumption went down by an average of 3.3% per annum between 1990 and 2018. “Solid fossil fuels” consumption fell by 61.2% in 2018 compared to 1990.

EU27 Renewable energies consumption* has nearly doubled since 2000

Renewable energies consumption* in the EU27 chemical industry: Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent

The share of renewable and biofuels energy consumption in chemicals increased from 0.3% in 2000 to 0.6% in 2018.

Renewable and biofuels energy consumption (RA000) in the EU27 area was valued at 303.9 thousand of tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018, significantly up from 156.8 in 2000. Renewable and biofuels energy consumption grew at an average of 3.7% per annum between 2000 and 2018. Renewable and biofuels energy consumption was 94% higher in 2018 compared to 2000.

A significant reduction in EU27 energy consumption* since 1990

EU27 chemicals energy consumption: 2018 compared to 1990 (delta in %) 50 Energy intensity in the EU27 chemical industry

In absolute terms, the EU27 chemical industry significantly reduced its fuel and power consumption by 15.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent from 1990 to 2018. Nearly half of this decline was driven by the reduction in gas consumption as a source of energy used by the EU27 chemical industry.

Gas consumption amounted to 17.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2018, down from 25.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1990.

The EU27 chemical industry dropped its consumption of solid fossil fuels from 6.8 to 2.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent between 1990 and 2018. The reduction of solid fossil fuels looks impressive, with a 61% decrease in 2018 compared to 1990. Finally, consumption of total petroleum products and electrical energy dropped respectively by 1.7 million and 2.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent in the same period.

EU27 Energy intensity* halved during 27-year period

Energy intensity* in the EU27 chemical industry

The EU27 chemical sector has been a pioneer in energy efficiency. It recognised early that in order to be competitive in a global market, competitive advantages must be sought at every opportunity.

As one of the most energy-intensive sectors, chemical companies have also had more scope for reduction than others. By making processes more efficient, including the construction of new facilities, the energy efficiency drive has been sustained for many years. Making further significant improvements requires technological breakthroughs.

For many years, the EU27 chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, has made strenuous efforts to improve energy efficiency by reducing its fuel and power energy consumption per unit of production.

By 2018, EU27 energy intensity, being the energy consumption per unit of production, in the chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, was 55.7% lower than in 1991. Further improvements to EU27 energy efficiency are subject to decreasing returns. The chemical industry succeeded in continuously increasing its input from 1991 to 2018, while at the same time keeping its energy input relatively constant.

As a result, the EU27 chemical industry has excelled in significantly lowering its energy intensity by an average of 3.0% per year. This analysis shows that improvements in energy efficiency were spectacular from 1991 to 2006. The period from 2006 to 2018 shows less significant performance.

EU27 Chemicals sector* is constantly performing better than overall industry

EU27 Energy intensity: Chemicals* vs total industry

Energy intensity in the EU27 chemical industry decreased by an average of 3.0% per annum from 1991 to 2018. As for the whole of the EU27 manufacturing sector, the energy intensity went down by 1.9% per year during the same period.

Energy intensity in the EU27 chemical industry was 55.7% lower in 2018 compared to 27 years ago.

SHARE