EU's gas demand plummets to historic lows - IEA

Economy Materials 21 February 2023 12:22 (UTC +04:00)
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 21. The EU's natural gas demand in 2022 decreased by 13 percent, or 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) year-on-year - a historically high-record decline, Trend reports via the latest overview of European gas market from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to the IEA, the demand related to distribution networks decreased by about 17 percent, or 28 bcm, over the last year, which is more than half of the total reduction in gas consumption.

"Milder weather conditions weighed on space heating requirements, while record high prices incentivized fuel-switching and energy efficiency measures in the residential and commercial sectors. Heating degree days (HDDs) were 12 percent below their 2021 levels driving down gas demand in the residential and commercial sectors by around 18 bcm," the report said.

As the agency explained, the improvements in energy efficiency, combined with fuel switching and behavioral changes, have led to a reduction in building gas consumption of about 10 bcm. At the same time, the demand for gas in industry decreased by 25 percent, or 25 bcm, in 2022.

"Production-curtailments across the most gas and energy-intensive industries accounted for around half of the decline, fuel-switching (primarily towards oil products) for an estimated 30 percent. A combination of efficiency gains, import substitutions and weather effect explain the remainder of the decline," the report noted.

Meanwhile, gas consumption in the energy sector remained unchanged in 2022, despite a decline in electricity demand and a shift from gas to coal, as low hydroelectric and nuclear power generation supported gas-based production, the IEA noted.

"Record high prices depressed natural gas demand in 2022. Latest estimates indicate that global gas consumption fell by over 1 percent (or 55 bcm) in 2022, primarily due to lower demand in the key importing markets of the Asia Pacific region and Europe," the report added.