05 Jan 2024, 11:45
Julian Wettengel

German gas use decreases while imports and exports drop in 2023


Clean Energy Wire

German gas consumption decreased yet again in 2023, while the country's role as a European gas hub diminished further following the halt of Russian pipeline gas supply in 2022. Gas use was five percent down compared to 2022, according to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). The country's international gas trade continued its rapid slide: Imports were down 33 percent to 968 terawatt hours, while exports dropped 63 percent to 187 TWh. Norway is now Germany’s main supplier (43% of total volumes crossing the border into Germany), followed by the Netherlands and Belgium. Only 7 percent of imports arrived at the three domestic floating terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG). “We have successfully managed to replace Russian gas supplies in a very short space of time,” said MP Ingrid Nestle, climate and energy spokesperson of the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Putin's "gas war" had mainly affected industry and led to production cutbacks due to high prices, she added.

Germany was heavily dependent on Russian fossil gas (and oil and coal) until 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine. It has since built up its own domestic import infrastructure for LNG to ensure supply security, but most gas still arrives by pipeline – now from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. While the country bets on renewables for its future energy supply, gas plays an important role for now, both in industry and for heating, and partly also in electricity generation.

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