Introduction - Electricity in the Energy Union

The European power sector is undergoing one of the most transformative changes in its history. Accelerated technological change, shifting consumer preferences, the application of ICT to link generation and demand, as well as the evolving EU climate and energy policy agenda, provide unprecedented challenges and important opportunities for the power sector. In the midst of the energy transition, Europe needs to ensure secure, sustainable, affordable and competitive energy for all its citizens and businesses.

The total power generation in the EU in 2014 was 3,025 TWh, which represents a 3% decrease from 2013. The share of RES in the power mix increased with renewable energy sources becoming, for the first time ever, the largest source of low carbon electricity in the EU in 2014. Fossil fuel fired generation accounted for 42% of the electricity mix in 2014, compared to its total share of 48% in 2012, mostly led by gas.

The total installed capacity in the EU in 2014 was 972GW, an increase of 3% from 2012. The total share of RES in installed capacity increased from 33% in 2012 to 37% in 2014. Renewable electricity capacity continued to be added to the system between 2012 and 2014, but the pace of new renewable capacity investment slowed down in2014 compared to previous years. The share of fossil fuel fired capacity in the installed capacity decreased by 3 percentage points the past two years. A clear shift in trends emerged regarding gas fired capacity between the years 2012 and 2014. In 2012 and 2013 a significant number of new gas fired plants were added to the system.