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Subsidy support of energy in EU countries, 2012  

Author:  | Economics, Europe

This study shows that in 2012, the total value of public interventions in 2012 in energy (excluding transport) in the EU-28 was €2012 113 billion: 10 billion to coal, 5 to natural gas, 7 to nuclear power, 8 to biomass, 15 to solar, 10 to on-shore wind, 2 to off-shore wind, and 5 to hydro.

Total support provided in the 28 Member States (in billion €2012), including EU level support – 2012

Total support provided in the 28 Member States (in billion €2012), including EU level support – 2012

The levels of support do not reflect the proportional use of each energy source, where, e.g., coal represented 17.5% of energy consumption, natural gas 23.5%, nuclear 13.5%, and all renewables 11%.

EU-28 gross inland consumption (as % of total Mtoe) in 2012 Source: Eurostat (preliminary data for 2012)

EU-28 gross inland consumption (as % of total Mtoe) in 2012
Source: Eurostat (preliminary data for 2012)

Thus, per mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) consumption, coal received 34 million € per mtoe, whereas all renewables received 216 million € per mtoe.

In terms of electrical energy, 1 mtoe is equivalent to 11.630 TWh. Therefore, coal’s 17.5% share of all (1,682.9 mtoe) energy consumption is 294.5 mtoe, which is equivalent to 3,425 TWh. Coal is used for more than electricity generation, however, and as seen in the next figure, it accounted for 27% of total 3,295 TWh electricity production, or 889 TWh – that is, only 26% of coal use was for electricity generation, and 26% of the subsidy to coal comes to less than 9 million € per mtoe.

EU-28 gross electricity generation (as % of total = 3295 TWh) (2012) Source: Eurostat (preliminary data 2012)

EU-28 gross electricity generation (as % of total = 3295 TWh) (2012)
Source: Eurostat (preliminary data 2012)

The next figure shows the share of each renewable energy source in the generation of electricity. Wind accounted for 26% of the total 799 TWh of electricity from renewable sources, or 208 TWh.

EU-28 Gross Electricity Generation by Renewable Energy (2012) Source: Eurostat (preliminary data 2012)

EU-28 Gross Electricity Generation by Renewable Energy (2012)
Source: Eurostat (preliminary data 2012)

Putting these data from disparate parts of this extensive report together, coal received a subsidy of 2.9 € per MWh of electricity generated. Wind – both on-shore and off-shore – received 57.7 € per MWh of electricity generated, or almost 20 times the subsidy of coal.

By similar calculations, the 2012 subsidies for electricity generation were 0.70 €/MWh for natural gas and 2.36 €/MWh for nuclear.

Source:  Progress towards Completing the Internal Energy Market – 2014

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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