By Chris King •
Published: 20 Dec 2022 • 21:41
Image of a natural gas pipeline supply.
According to a report published today, Tuesday, December 20, the consumption of natural gas in the EU has dropped by 20.1% in the period August-November 2022, That is compared with the average gas consumption for the same months in the corresponding periods between 2017 and 2021.
The Council Regulation (EU) 2022/1369 on coordinated demand-reduction measures for gas – part of the REPowerEU plan to end EU dependence on Russian fossil fuels – set a reduction target of 15 per cent for the period August 2022-March 2023, compared to the average of the same period of the five previous consecutive years.
During August-November 2022, in most member states, natural gas consumption dropped. Consumption dropped beyond the 15 per cent target in 18 Member States, in some, by a large margin (above 40 per cent). Finland was the country where Consumption fell the most (-52.7 per cent), followed by Latvia (-43.2 per cent), and Lithuania (-41.6 per cent).
While reducing their natural gas consumption, six Member States have not yet reached the 15 per cent target. By contrast, in Malta (+7.1 per cent) and Slovakia (+2.6 per cent), natural gas consumption increased.
This information comes from energy data published by Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union) and transmitted by the National Statistical Institutes of the Member States.
Looking at monthly data from January to November 2022, consumption was consistently below the 2017-2021 average of the respective months of those years.
Between January and July 2022, natural gas consumption in the EU varied between 1 938 petajoules (PJ) in January – a seasonally colder month with higher consumption – and 785 PJ in July. This indicated a monthly decrease overall, even before the target of 15 per cent gas reduction was set up by the Council Regulation (EU) 2022/1369.
This fall was higher in May (-12.9 per cent compared with the average May of the 2017-2021 period of 956 PJ) when 833 PJ were consumed, then down by 7.1 per cent in June (775 PJ vs 833 PJ).
The reduction jumped to 13.9 per cent in August, 14.2 per cent in September, 24.2 per cent in October and 23.6 per cent in November. August was the month with the lowest consumption: 708 PJ vs 823 PJ for the 2017-2021 average.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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