EU gas consumption down by 20.1%
The EU consumption of natural gas has dropped by 20.1% in the period August-November 2022, compared with the average gas consumption for the same months (August-November) 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% 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 Member States. In 18 Member States, consumption dropped beyond the 15% target, in some, by a large margin (above 40%). Consumption fell the most in Finland (-52.7%), Latvia (-43.2%) and Lithuania (-41.6%), EuroStat reports.
Six Member States, while reducing their natural gas consumption, have not yet reached the 15% target. By contrast, natural gas consumption increased in Malta (+7.1%) and Slovakia (+2.6%).
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% 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% in August, 14.2% in September, 24.2% in October and 23.6% in November.
August was the month with the lowest consumption: 708 PJ vs 823 PJ for the 2017-2021 average.