Material and energy efficiency

Society has an impact on the environment by extracting resources and energy and generating waste and pollution. It is important to use natural resources sustainably and preserve the environment in order to maintain ecological balance and ensure economic growth.

The preparation of environmental accounts based on the principles of economic statistics allows the integrated analysis of production, resource and energy use, emissions and environmental taxes. By combining data, it is possible to assess the impact of the economy on the environment and the contribution of the environment to the economy. The indicators resulting from these analyses are much more informative than indicators based on a single domain.

There is increasing public interest in environmental indicators. They are used to make decisions, implement new or ease existing measures, monitor development plans and domain-specific action plans, develop the circular economy, shape relevant policies, and monitor sustainability on the national level.

Recent decades have witnessed a significant technological development, with production becoming more energy and material resource efficient and versatile. Indicators compiled on the basis of material and energy balances can be used to characterize material and energy use and resource efficiency of the economy.

Statistics on material and energy efficiency provide an overview of the following:

  • how skilfully and efficiently resources are used in Estonia;
  • how much value added is created per one kilogramme of physical resources used;
  • what the gross domestic product per unit of energy consumed is;
  • how much material and energy has been consumed by the economy;
  • how much domestic raw material is consumed per capita and per unit of area;
  • what the physical trade balance is;
  • which economic activities consume the most energy.

The data are needed to plan national development, develop a sustainable and competitive energy sector, monitor the circular economy action plan and, more broadly, the sustainability of the country.

Domestic material consumption 37.70 million tonnes
0.8%
2020
Resource productivity 0.63 euro per kg
-3.1%
2020
Domestic extraction used per capita 30.4 tonnes
-3.2%
2020
Physical trade balance -2.73 million tonnes
35.3%
2020
Area intensity, used domestic extraction 0.9 kg/km²
-3.3%
2020
Energy productivity 4.2 euros per kg of oil equivalent
2.4%
2020
Domestic extraction used | 2011–2020
Physical trade balance | 2011–2020
Domestic material consumption per capita | 2011 – 2020
Unit: tons
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Direct material input per capita 36.80 37.10 38.60 37.30 36.30 36.10 42.60 45.20 41.30 41.30
Domestic material consumption per capita 26.20 26.80 28.30 27.00 26.00 25.60 30.40 31.60 28.20 28.40

Economic activities with highest energy consumption | 2015 – 2020
Unit: TJ
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
A_U 01-99 Total NACE industries 185,133 187,644 200,601 195,547 162,680 145,855
A01 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities 4,028 4,802 5,013 5,370 4,932 4,835
C16 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials 5,611 3,186 3,432 3,479 3,607 4,138
C17 Manufacture of paper and paper products 3,942 2,772 3,182 3,276 2,711 2,693
C19 Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products 10,474 6,902 11,032 10,150 10,372 10,223
C23 Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products 3,766 3,329 4,241 4,739 4,277 1,608
D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 87,241 98,796 107,194 103,081 69,460 54,255
F Construction 6,446 5,994 6,309 6,003 5,941 7,997
H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines 15,162 13,188 13,648 14,585 14,693 15,081
H50 Water transport 10,248 10,810 6,004 6,171 4,840 5,753
L Real estate activities 4,582 4,501 4,150 4,399 4,250 4,154
HH Total activities by households 46,471 53,297 53,267 53,535 53,812 51,229
HH_HEAT Heating/cooling activities by households 32,283 35,750 36,363 36,718 36,799 36,944
HH_TRA Transport activities by households 10,290 13,232 12,533 12,525 12,352 9,791
HH_OTH Other activities by households 3,898 4,315 4,372 4,292 4,662 4,495
TOTAL 231,605 240,941 253,868 249,082 216,493 197,084

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