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 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%).
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%).
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 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.