EU consumption of natural gas dropped by 20.1 per cent in the period August-November 2022, compared with the average gas consumption for the same months (August-November) between 2017 and 2021, the bloc’s statistics agency Eurostat said on December 20.
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 as compared to the average of the same period of the five previous consecutive years.
During August-November 2022, natural gas consumption dropped in most EU countries.
In 18 member states, consumption dropped beyond the 15 per cent target, in some, by a large margin (above 40 per cent), Eurostat said.
Consumption fell the most in Finland (-52.7 per cent), Latvia (-43.2 per cent) and Lithuania (-41.6 per cent).
Six EU countries, while reducing their natural gas consumption, have not yet reached the 15 per cent target. By contrast, natural gas consumption increased in Malta (7.1 per cent) and Slovakia (2.6 per cent).
Looking at monthly data from January to November 2022, consumption has been 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, seasonally a colder month with higher consumption, and 785 PJ in July, indicating a monthly decrease overall, even before the target of 15% 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% 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, Eurostat said.
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