16 Aug 2022, 13:48
Hannah Naylor

German gas consumption down nearly 15 percent in first half of 2022


Clean Energy Wire

Germany consumed 14.7 percent less natural gas in the first sixth months of 2022 than in the corresponding period in the year before, preliminary figures released by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) show. While a warmer spring this year can partially explain this fall in gas use to 497 billion kilowatt hours, a drop of around 8 percent between the two periods remained even when figures were adapted to take the varying temperatures into consideration, the BDEW said. June in particular saw a significant reduction in gas consumption, with the volume used falling more than 22 percent year-on-year. The sharp drop is presumed to be due to high prices and economic uncertainty, which swayed consumers away, BDEW said. Electricity generation from natural gas has in fact been declining since the middle of last year, it added.

The energy industry association said it regards these reductions positively, in light of the gas crisis that has engulfed large parts of Europe: "In order to get through the winter well, it is important to further reduce gas consumption and to fill the gas storage facilities as much as possible over the rest of the summer," Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW executive board, said. She added that everyone must contribute to the gas saving efforts, including households, which will remain one of the most protected consumer groups from gas cuts alongside services, such as hospitals, should Germany run into shortages.

Economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said this week that Germany will have to cut natural gas use by 20 percent as the government implements new gas saving measures. Earlier this month, projections were made by the Federal Network Agency that Germany would be unlikely to reach its gas storage targets in the next few months should supplies from Russia continue to fall.

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