Energy crisis: Germany saves a lot of gas - but other EU countries are in a better position

Last weekend, the Federal Network Agency reported slightly falling levels in German gas storage facilities for the first time.

Energy crisis: Germany saves a lot of gas - but other EU countries are in a better position

Last weekend, the Federal Network Agency reported slightly falling levels in German gas storage facilities for the first time. But as early as Tuesday, the "Gas Supply Management Report" gave the all-clear: "It will continue to be stored. The total storage level in Germany is 99.55%. The level of the Rehden storage facility is 93.97%." In the last week of October, gas consumption was "significantly below the average consumption of the last four years, also due to the temperature". It was about 3 degrees warmer than in previous years.

According to the Federal Network Agency, the savings target of 20 percent less gas consumption is one of the decisive factors in Germany avoiding a gas shortage. In October, private households and businesses used 42.4 percent less gas than in October 2021. In industry, the savings in October were not quite as great. Nevertheless, it also saved 27.4 percent of the gas volume compared to the previous year. But how is the gas situation in our European neighbors?

Luxembourg is apparently on a very good course. According to its own statements, the country has clearly exceeded the EU target of reducing gas consumption by at least 15 percent since August. Gas consumption in October was 36 percent below the average consumption between 2017 and 2022, Energy Minister Claude Turmes announced on Tuesday. In September the saving was 26 percent and in August 37 percent. However, Turmes warned of caution: "If the temperature drops after the relatively warm October, this could lead to a significant increase in gas consumption for heating." He therefore continues to call for energy saving.

Other EU countries are also more successful in saving gas than Germany - compared to the average of the last five years in the month. According to the EU Commission, Sweden more than halved its gas consumption in August and September. The Netherlands used 28.9 and 32.2 percent less gas, respectively. The Baltic States, Luxembourg, Romania and Finland, among others, also saved proportionally more than Germany. In the EU as a whole, consumption fell by 14 percent in August and by 15 percent in September. The EU Commission has not yet presented the figures for October.

According to the "Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory" (as of November 8th, 2022), the EU countries have filled their gas storage facilities well. The leader is Belgium, where the fill level is 100 percent. On average in the EU, the gas storage facilities are 95.3 percent full – and the trend is rising. Latvia comes in last with just under 59 percent. Ireland, Finland, Greece, Estonia and Lithuania do not have their own gas storage facilities, but have solidarity agreements with other EU countries. The fill levels are only falling in Italy and Poland.

Other sources: DPA, "Gas Supply Management Report" of November 9, 2022, European Council on the gas storage situation, "Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory", Federal Network Agency on gas consumption.

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