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The European Union managed to beat its target for cutting gas demand this winter, according to new data from Eurostat.
Eurostat data shows that the European Union’s winter demand fell by 19 percent compared to the five-year average, beating the 15 percent goal it set for itself to help it survive the winter.
The largest drop was in Finland, which cut its usage by nearly 60 percent. Lithuania saw the second biggest decrease with a nearly 50 percent reduction, with Sweden coming in third. Spain saw one of the smaller decreases in gas consumption, the data showed.
Eurostat didn’t differentiate between demand loss due to the mild-weathered winter and high prices.
Consumption began to see some of the larger dips beginning in August, which saw a 14% reduction in consumption. September saw an even bigger decrease, and the trend of increasingly lower consumption continued into January.
January is typically a high gas demand month brought on by colder temperatures. Still, the EU consumed 1,534 PJ in January, a slight dip from December. For comparison, Eurostat data shows January 2022 consumption at 1,938 PJ.
Analysts and governments spent some time on high alert, warning the public that it could see blackouts this winter. Government bodies and power companies within the EU even spent a considerable amount of time educating the public on how they could reduce consumption, such as by taking shorter showers, putting on a sweater, and lowering the thermostat.
But governments seemed to have staved off such scenarios, in part by the luck of a mild winter. Just how much of the dip in consumption was due to deliberate usage curbs is unclear.
Now, Europe is approaching winter’s end with much more gas in storage than almost anyone thought possible. Still, Europeans are being told they need to continue conserving gas until at least next winter.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.
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