Warm weather, others cause less winter gas consumption in Europe

Warm weather, others cause less winter gas consumption in Europe

Unusually warm weather, rising prices, and the implementation of emergency measures by European governments [to deal with the energy crisis] resulted in reduced use of gas during the winter period between August 2022 and January 2023, reports indicate.

According to data released on Tuesday by the EU statistics office Eurostat, overall gas use in the 27-nation European Union decreased by 19.3% from August to January compared to the five-year average for the same period.

In the months after its February invasion of Ukraine, Russia – formerly Europe’s top supplier, stopped the majority of deliveries, causing a shortage of energy and record-high prices across Europe.

With their storage caverns being unusually full as winter draws to a close, EU countries are more confident than ever that they won’t experience shortages thanks to lower gas consumption. Although they are still higher than average for recent years, European gas prices have decreased since December.

As one of many emergency measures put in place by Brussels and national governments last year to save fuel and replace Russian supplies with alternatives before the northern hemisphere winter, EU countries appear on track to exceed their target to voluntarily cut gas demand by 15% from August to March.

According to analysts, it was still too early to determine what factors had reduced demand in particular industries, but mild winter temperatures and industry production cuts as a result of high gas prices were two of the main reasons.

According to Eurostat, the EU’s gas demand decreased by more than 22% in October, November, and January. Despite a cold snap at the start of the month that probably increased household heating use, December saw a smaller decline of just under 13%.

Separate research from the think tank Bruegel revealed that consumption in Germany, the continent’s largest gas market, fell in January by 12% in the power sector, 25% in households, and 27% in industry when compared to the 2019–2021 average for the month.

Between nations, the decline was unevenly distributed. Spanish demand dropped by 14%, Finland’s demand dropped by 57%, whereas Malta, an island nation not connected to the EU gas grid, saw an increase in demand.

Source: Energy Ghana




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