Electricity market indicators

From Statistics Explained

Data from March 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article takes a look at electricity markets in the European Union (EU), presenting recent statistical data on the number of electricity generating and retailing companies across EU Member States and Norway, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

Table 1: Number of generating companies representing at least 95 % of national generation, 2003-2012
Table 2: Number of main electricity generating companies, 2003-2012
Figure 1: Cumulative market share and installed capacity share, 2012
Table 3: Market share of the largest generator in the electricity market, 1999-2012 (%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ind_331a)
Table 4: New capacity connected during the year, 2012 (MW)
Table 5: Total number of electricity retailers to final consumers, 2003-2012
Table 6: Number of main electricity retailers, 2003-2012
Figure 2: Number of main electricity retailers and their cumulative market share, 2012

Main statistical findings 

During the period 2003-2012, the number of main (main = market coverage above 5 % of national electricity generation) electricity generating companies in the European Union fluctuated between 82 and 90 companies, without a clear up- or downward trend.

Electricity markets - generation and installed capacity

The information in Table 1 refers to the number of companies that generate electricity representing at least 95 % of net electricity generation at national level.

In 2012, the number of electricity generating companies representing at least 95 % of national net electricity generation remained limited to five or fewer in seven EU Member States. Spain did not report a number for this indicator.

Between 2011 and 2012, the number of electricity generating companies representing at least 95 % of national net electricity generation remained stable in 9 EU Member States but increases could be observed in 13 Member States, while the number went down most significantly in Hungary.

Table 2 displays the number of main companies that have a market coverage for at least 5 % of the total national net electricity generation.

Seven EU Member States declared only one single enterprise to have a significant share of electricity generation at national level in 2012. In the UK there are seven and in Lithuania six electricity generating companies of considerable importance.

In Sweden the number of electricity generators with a share of over 5 % of national generation decreased by two units in 2012 compared to one year earlier.

The number of main enterprises at EU-28 level fluctuated between 82 and 90 companies during the last nine years.

Figure 1 displays the cumulated shares of companies in a given country having a share of at least 5 % of their respective national markets, both with regard to the electricity actually generated in 2012 and the installed capacity of the generating power plants.

Cyprus and Malta report a monopoly situation where one single company is responsible for the totality of electricity generation, and thus the installed capacity.

Table 3 displays the market share of the largest generator in the electricity market in 2012 in percentage of national production. Apart from Malta and Cyprus, where only one electricity company dominates the national production, figures above 80 % for the largest electricity generators are observed in Latvia (89.0 %), Estonia (88.0 %), France (86.0 %), Croatia (82.0 %) and Luxembourg (81.8 %). A size of the largest generation company on national level below 25 % can be observed in Poland (16.4 %), and in Spain (23.8 %). The market share of the largest generator for Bulgaria, Germany and the Netherlands were not reported.

Member states also provided information on new installed electricity generation capacity during 2012. From Table 4 it can be concluded that the new installed capacity remains stable since 2010 between 38 and 42 000 MW.

The most significant change in new installed capacity was reported by Germany (13 400 MW).

Electricity markets - retail

EU Member States (and Norway, FYROM, Serbia and Turkey) also reported information concerning the retailing (sales) sector.

Table 5 presents information on the total number of retailers that sell electricity to final customers. When looking to the number of main retailers (retailers are considered as "main" if they sell at least 5 % of the total national electricity consumption), the figures remain stable since several years (around 100 companies).

Eight main companies can be found in Bulgaria, and in Slovenia. Markets where only one main company is dealing with the sales of electricity are registered in Estonia, France, Cyprus, and Malta. Table 6 excludes information from Denmark and Greece, as data was not provided for this indicator.

Figure 2 illustrates the number of main electricity retailers to final consumers and their cumulative market shares for all EU Member States plus Norway, Turkey and FYR of Macedonia. If one looks to the remaining market, which is the market that is covered by non-main retail companies that have a market coverage of less than 5 %, this market for "minor" retail companies is the largest in Sweden (65 %) followed by Italy (56 %) and Germany (54 %). The market for "minor" retail companies is below 25 % in 18m out of the 25 EU countries that reported this indicator.

Data sources and availability

The information used to create this article was collected on the basis of a questionnaire "Competition Indicators for the electricity market 2012".

All 28 EU Member States plus Norway, the FYR of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey returned the questionnaires to Eurostat but sometimes information for individual indicators was not available.

Reporting was done on a voluntary basis.


Since July 2004, small business consumers in the EU have been free to switch their gas or electricity supplier, and in July 2007 this right was extended to all consumers. Independent national regulatory authorities have been established across the Member States to ensure that suppliers and network companies operate correctly. However, a number of shortcomings were identified in the opening-up of markets, and it was therefore decided to embark upon a third legislative package of measures with the aim of ensuring that all users could take advantage of the benefits provided by a truly competitive energy market. The European Commission launched its third legislative package to liberalise energy markets in September 2007. These proposals were designed to: create a competitive energy market; expand consumer choice; promote fairer prices; result in cleaner energy; and promote the security of supply. During 2009, a number of these proposals were adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

See also

Further Eurostat information


Main tables

Energy Statistics - main indicators (t_nrg_indic)
Market share of the largest generator in the electricity market (ten00119)
Electricity generated from renewable sources (tsdcc330)
Energy Statistics - quantities (t_nrg_quant)
Total gross electricity generation (ten00087)
Electricity consumption by industry, transport activities and households/services (GWH) (ten00094)
Electricity consumption by households (tsdpc310)
Energy Statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
Electricity prices by type of user (ten00117)


Energy Statistics - main indicators (nrg_indic)
Market share of the largest generator in the electricity market - annual data (nrg_ind_331a)
Supply of electricity - monthly data (nrg_ind_342m)
Energy Statistics - quantities, annual data (nrg_quant)
Energy statistics - Supply, transformation, consumption (nrg_10)
Supply, transformation, consumption - electricity - annual data (nrg_105a)
Energy Statistics - quantities, monthly data (nrg_quantm)
Energy statistics - supply, transformation, consumption (nrg_10m)
Supply - electricity - monthly data (nrg_105m)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)

Other information

  • Directive 2009/72/EC of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity
  • Regulation 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Regulation 714/2009 of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity

External links