BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct.18
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
EU gas consumption in the second quarter of 2021 rose by 18.9 percent (13.5 bcm) in year-on-year comparison, after the increases in the fourth quarter of 2020 (2.5 percent) and in the first quarter of 2021 (7.2 percent), Trend reports with reference to the European Commission.
In absolute numbers, the quarterly gas consumption in Q2 2021 amounted to an estimated 84.9 bcm, up from 71.4 bcm in Q2 2020, but down from 141.2 bcm in Q1 2021, after the end of the heating season in the first three months of the year.
Year-on-year increase in gas consumption in Q2 2021 was the highest in the last seven years, owing to very low consumption in Q2 2020 with the onset of Covid-19 related demand destruction in that period. In electricity generation, demand for gas rose by 9.3 percent year-on-year (increasing by 9.9 TWh).
Weather across Europe was generally colder than usual in Q2 2021, increasing demand for gas for residential heating needs, and June 2021 was warmer in many countries, increasing cooling needs. As Figure 1 below shows, in the first quarter of 2021 gas consumption in the EU was higher (in April) and close (in May) to the upper range of the last five years. In first half of 2021, natural gas consumption in the EU amounted to 226 bcm, up by 11 percent (23 bcm) compared to the same period of 2020.
In the second quarter of 2021, gas consumption decreased only in four EU Member States year-on-year (in Latvia, by -23 percent, though by marginal quantity - 0.05 bcm, Finland, by 12 percent - 0.06 bcm, in Lithuania, by 9 percent - 0.06 bcm and in Ireland, by 5 percent- 0.06). In all the other 22 Member States (no data available for Cyprus) gas consumption was up in Q2 2021 year-on-year. Gas consumption, in order of percentage changes, rose by the most in France (by 31 percent, +1.8 bcm), in Bulgaria (by 29 percent, +0.2 bcm), and in Czechia and Greece, in both by 26 percent and respectively by 0.4 bcm and 0.3 bcm.
On the top of France, among the five biggest gas consumer countries, consumption rose by 23 percent (+3.6 bcm) in Germany, by 21 percent (+2.6 bcm) in Italy, by 18 percent (+1.2 bcm) in Spain and by 11 percent (+0.9 bcm) in the Netherlands. In Q2 2021 there were twelve EU Member States where the year-on-year change in gas consumption was greater than 20 percent and another eight countries where gas consumption was up by more than 10 percent. In the first half of 2021, gas consumption was up by 15 percent in Germany (+7 bcm), in France by 13 percent (+2.7 bcm), in Italy it rose by 11 percent (+3.8 bcm), in the Netherlands it went up by 10 percent (+2.1 bcm) and in Spain by 7 percent (+1 bcm), in comparison to the first half of 2020.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn