In 2020, the year COVID-19 pandemic began, net domestic energy use decreased by 8.7%, a more intense variation than the 8.3% reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms. As a result, energy intensity of the economy (the relationship between domestic energy use and GDP) decreased by 0.4% (in 2019 it had decreased by 3.1%), establishing the lowest value in the series. In a year marked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, household energy consumption decreased by 0.5%, a less intense reduction than in private consumption as a whole (-7.1%), competing for a 7.0% increase in the energy intensity of private consumption and disrupting the downward trend that has occurred since 2015.
Electricity production was achieved through a mix of less polluting energy products, with a sharp reduction in coal use (-55.1%) and increases in natural gas (+1.1%) and, above all, renewables (+9.2%) that have reached the maximum of the series since 2000, corresponding to 47% of total electricity production.
In 2019 (last year with information available to the EU), Portugal was the Member State with the third lowest energy intensity in the economy, improving two positions compared to other Member States.