Recent Eurostat data unveils a concerning trend in the European Union’s energy landscape, highlighting an increase in fossil fuel dependence from 69.9% in 2021 to 70.9% in 2022. Notably, Bulgaria sees a 2.8 percentage point rise, contributing to this shift.

In 2022, Malta maintains the highest share of fossil fuels in gross available energy at 96.1%, followed by Cyprus (89.3%) and the Netherlands (87.6%). Conversely, Sweden (30.4%) and Finland (38.3%) stand out with shares below 50%. Latvia, Slovakia, and Hungary witness the most significant decreases, while Estonia, France, and Bulgaria record notable increases.

This shift is accentuated by a decline in nuclear power generation across 13 EU countries, including Bulgaria, marking the lowest level since 1990. While renewables show promise, they fail to offset the nuclear decline. Factors like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and energy commodity price spikes in 2022 further complicate the EU’s energy landscape.

France, the largest nuclear power producer, experiences a decrease due to maintenance, impacting overall EU nuclear power generation. Despite this, the EU has seen a considerable reduction in the overall share of fossil fuels in its energy supply since 1990, primarily driven by the rise in renewable energy sources.