Eurostat data on EU gas consumption between August and November 2022
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Between August and November, EU gas consumption fell by more than 20% compared to the average of the last five years. A very positive figure for the reduction targets set with the EU Repower Plan to overcome the winter without Russian gas. But the result, at least in part, depends on the mild climate that characterized the autumn.
The warm autumn grace Europe
Between September and November, the average temperature on the continent was 0.98 ºC warmer than in the previous 30 years. According to the findings of Copernicus, the European satellite monitoring system, what we have just greeted was the third hottest autumn ever recorded in Europe. It seems no coincidence that, according to Eurostat data, the months with the most pronounced downturn are October (-24.2%) and November (-23.6%), in which temperatures remained significantly above the average over most of Europe. While August and September recorded -13.9% and -14.2%.
For the first part of winter, however, the latest forecasts of Copernicus, estimate conditions slightly colder than the norm for central and northern Europe, which could then gnaw the capital of gas saved so far. In southern Europe, including Italy, the mercury column will continue to have values above the average for the period. For the last part of winter, the forecasts have become more uncertain and we will have to wait until the new year to see reliable signals.
EU gas consumption, promoted and rejected
Despite the help of the climate, the map of EU gas consumption is not homogeneous across the continent. The most positive figure concerns the countries that have exceeded the reduction value agreed with the EU Repower, that is the -15% threshold: there are 18, two out of three. In large parts of Northern Europe, explains the statistical dashboard of Eurostat. Finland leads the ranking with -52.7%, followed by Latvia (-43.2%) and Lithuania (-41.6%).
By contrast, Central and Southern European countries are predominantly below the average EU consumption of gas in the autumn. While Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Austria and Poland have managed to reduce gas consumption by at least 15%, another six are below the threshold. Malta and Slovakia even increased consumption by 7.1% and 2.6% respectively. Italy, along with Slovenia, is exactly between the -15% limit.