EU energy consumption drops to 1990s levels

BRUSSELS – The European Union's energy consumption in 2013 dropped to levels last seen in the early 1990s, the bloc's statistical office has disclosed.

Eurostat said in a report on Monday that the EU’s gross inland energy consumption in 2013 was equivalent to 1.666 trillion tonnes of oil compared to 1.686 trillion in 2012 and 1.698 trillion in 2011.

Reports of the decline come amid rising tensions between the bloc and Russia - its main gas supplier.

The EU’s Energy Commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, and Polish leaders discussed in the Polish capital Warsaw on Feb.2 ways to enhance greater energy security for the 28-nation bloc.

- Crisis in Ukraine

Poland, which is dependent on Russia for around 60 percent of its gas, has called on the EU to lessen dependence on imports amid the crisis in Ukraine, which is a gas-transit country.

The bloc, which achieves 29 percent of its domestic energy production through nuclear energy, was dependent on energy imports for 53 percent of its consumption in 2013, according to Eurostat.

Countries least-dependent on energy imports in 2013 included: Estonia at 11.9 percent; Denmark at 12.3 percent, Romania at 18.6 percent, Poland at 25.8 percent, the Netherlands at 26 percent and the Czech Republic at 27.9 percent.

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