Many countries in the European Union are highly depended on a few suppliers of fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas. Such dependence leaves them vulnerable to supply disruptions, whether caused by political or commercial disputes, or infrastructure failure. Therefore, the European Commission released its Energy Security Strategy in 2014, which among others states an increase of energy efficiency (with a focus on industry and buildings) and achievement of the proposed 2030 energy and climate goals as a long-term measure against the energy import dependency of the EU (European Commission 2014b). Energy import dependency refers to the extent to which a country relies upon imports in order to meet its energy needs. A negative dependency rate indicates a net exporter of energy, while a dependency rate in excess of 1 indicates that energy products have been stocked (European Commission 2015b).

To estimate the impact of energy efficiency on the import dependency of a country we calculate in a first step the final energy consumption by energy carrier (i.e. electricity, fossil fuels, etc.) avoided by energy efficiency. Final energy savings by end-use and sector are available from the ODYSSEE-database. These are translated to energy savings by fuel based on typical energy carrier breakdown per end-use. Ensuing we calculate the resulting avoided primary energy supply by energy carrier using national primary energy factors, which is then used to calculate a counterfactual import dependency (for the sum of actual imports and calculated avoided imports). The difference between this counterfactual value and the actual import dependency (e.g. provided by Eurostat) represents the estimated effect of energy efficiency on the import dependency of a country.

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Dependency rate [%]