Energy balances 2020

In 2020, final energy consumption decreased by 8% to 1 053 petajoules (PJ) compared to the previous year, as Statistics Austria reports, and was at a similar level to 2003.

The decline in final energy consumption in 2020 is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures for containment led, among other things, to a lower volume of traffic and changed consumption habits: As a result, energy use in air travel, for example, fell by 66% and the use of diesel and petrol in road transport dropped by 13% to 282 PJ.

The economic sectors of industry and services recorded each a decline in final energy consumption of around 3% to 307 PJ and 108 PJ, respectively.

Consumption by private households, on the other hand, was at about the same level as in the previous year 2019.

The decrease in final energy consumption is also reflected in the consumption of individual energy sources – a decline was recorded for almost all energy product groups. Only the use of coal in industry showed an increase of 5% to 18 PJ, which may have been due to stock draws at decommissioned power plants.

The decrease in renewable energy sources compared to the previous year was dominated by the lower volume of biofuels used, which is subject to mandatory blending of fuels and was therefore also due to the lower traffic volume. The reduced use of petroleum products (-16% to 367 PJ) was also largely determined by developments in the transport sector.

Domestic production of primary fuels was at roughly the same level as in the previous year. While a decline was observed in the relevant fossil energy sources (crude oil: -14% to 24 PJ, natural gas: -18% to 26 PJ), the production of renewable energy sources increased by 2% to 441 PJ. The highest growth rates were observed in hydropower (+3% to 151 PJ) and photovoltaics (+20% to 7 PJ).

Both the production and the final consumption of district heating showed an increase of about 1% each (to 84 PJ and 72 PJ, respectively), in line with the development of the heating degree days (+2%).