European Commission supports Green Deal with energy statistics regulation

Sustainable energy

Belgium The European Commission has passed the most comprehensive amendment to the energy statistics regulation ever enacted. The goal is to strengthen the European Green Deal even more.

This amendment, which takes effect in February, will provide statistics to monitor a number of policy initiatives aimed at decarbonizing the European economy, including the Energy Union and the Fit for 55 package, as well as the Hydrogen Strategy and the Battery Initiative. The new statistics will be available for the first time in 2022.

New high-quality data

Eurostat will now publish new and more detailed high-quality data on:

New energy carriers, such as hydrogen, will play an important role in difficult-to-decarbonize sectors (such as maritime and air transport). These new statistics will distinguish green hydrogen (produced using renewable energy) from hydrogen produced using oil or gas, and they will include data to track how hydrogen is used in our economy. This information will be critical in monitoring the developments related to the EU Hydrogen Strategy.

Decentralized electricity production, to track small producers such as households/companies installing their own solar PV panels on their roofs or agriculture/forestry companies producing their own electricity from biomass or biogas. Decentralized electricity production is becoming more important as the Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 encourages small consumers to participate in the energy market by becoming producers themselves. Furthermore, the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Change (EU) 2018/1999) includes reporting requirements for renewable energy generated in buildings.

Large-scale batteries, which will be required to store electricity and stabilize future smart-grids with a high renewables penetration. These data will help the EU’s battery initiative.

Additional renewable fuels, such as detailed heat pump characteristics and closer monitoring of solar photovoltaic (PV) production, identifying rooftop PV systems, categorizing production based on the size of PV system installations, and collecting data on off-grid PV systems, will aid in monitoring some of the commitments included in the Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EU) 2018/844. The Resilience and Recovery Plans developed through the Resilience and Recovery Facility allocated significant funds to energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.

Newly installed and decommissioned electrical capacity to track the transformation of the EU power production sector as carbon-intensive power plants (e.g., coal) are decommissioned and replaced by renewable power plants (such as solar PV systems or wind). This transformation is critical to meeting the Fit for 55 package’s commitments.

The use of renewables without the use of energy to replace carbon-intensive materials with new and sustainable bio-based products such as bio-chemicals, bio-lubricants for the automotive industry, or bio-asphalt for our roads. Bio-lubricant contains at least 25% bio-based carbon and is used as a hydraulic fluid and tractor transmission oil, industrial and marine gear oil, bicycle chains, and so on. Bitumen, the fossil component of asphalt, is replaced by lignin, an important component of plants and trees, in bio-asphalt. As a result, road construction becomes more environmentally friendly, biogenic carbon can be stored in roads for an extended period of time, and there is less reliance on petroleum. The bio-asphalt test road in the Netherlands, which was built in 2020, is performing well.

Breakdown of final energy consumption (in support of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EU) 2018/2002) in the services sector, providing information on energy consumption in sectors such as education, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, food services, hospital activities, and many more.

Final energy consumption for rail transport activities (including metro and tram, high-speed and conventional rail, freight transport, and passenger transport) and road transport (heavy-duty vehicles, collective transport, and car and vans).

The energy consumption in data centers is rapidly increasing and must be monitored in order to understand the environmental impact of the digital economy. Data centers are a critical component of Europe’s digital strategy because they provide the basic infrastructure required to support the digital transition.

Specific final energy consumption in agriculture and forestry, required to support the monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Specific data on grid losses during gas and electricity transmission and distribution, a first step toward improving grid efficiency in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Directive (EU) 2018/2002.

Annual data will be available one month earlier (in October of the following year, rather than November), further supporting the State of the Energy Union reporting process.

Estimated energy balances will be published six months after the end of the fiscal year, based on official data from Member States, to aid in the analysis of the EU energy market’s early trends.

Support for the proposal

The proposal was endorsed by the European Statistical System Committee with a large majority of Member States in favor after intensive negotiations with Member States to ensure that data needs arising from the Fit for 55 package and other policy initiatives in the energy sector were quickly incorporated (representing 95.52 percent of the EU population). This amendment was submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for a 3-month scrutiny in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny followed for this amendment. Without comment, both co-legislators approved, paving the way for today’s Commission adoption.

Steps to follow

Following the European Commission’s formal adoption of the Regulation, it will be published in the Official Journal on January 31. The Regulation will go into effect 20 days after it is published. This data’s first reference year is 2022. This means that EU member states are already collecting data in accordance with this amendment.