Monday, December 11, 2023

Gas consumption in Europe in 2023 will fall by 5% thanks to renewables

He gas consumption in Europe, which already fell by 16% during the last heating season, will drop by 5% in 2023 as a whole, thanks in particular to the expansion of renewable for the production of electricity.

In its report In a quarterly report on the gas market, the International Energy Agency (IEA) draws a scenario of “cautious optimism”, very different from the one that existed a year ago after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which raised fears issues supply.

In global terms, he estimates that the consumption The gas supply will remain stagnant this year, after a 1.5% drop in 2022, similar to the one that had occurred in 2020 due to the covid lockdowns, and which in this case was due to the decrease in imports in Europe and Asia.

This occurred in a context of rising gas prices due to the triggering of the war in Ukraine and which was directly related to the brutal reduction (80% in the year as a whole) of shipments from Russia by gas pipeline in the direction of Europe.

All this affected the industries energy-intensive, which in some cases reduced production, but also led to greater use of coal as a substitute, to the application of efficiency energy and a greater deployment of renewables.


By 2023, the authors of the study they expect the main vectors of growth to be Asia, with a progression of 3% in which China will weigh heavily (+6%) thanks to the recovery of its activity and a greater use of gas by its industry, and the Middle East, with an increase of 2%, mainly thanks to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In Europe, the sharp fall in gas consumption in the season of heating that has just finished (some 25 billion cubic meters less) is partly due to particularly mild temperatures in October and the first half of November.

Those weather conditions explain 40% of the decreases in the residential and commercial sectors, which have had a fundamental influence on saving measures, the installation of heat pumps or changes in behavior.

On the other hand, the volume of gas used to generate electricity during this same heating season in Europe it has dropped by 12% due to a decrease in electricity consumption of about 7%.


For the whole of 2023, the 5% drop in the demand in Europe it will also be due to a large extent to the drop of almost 15% in the use of gas for electricity, replaced by new renewable installations.

On the contrary, in the European industry a increase 5% because the price situation has completely changed and, after the peaks reached in the summer of 2022, between mid-December and the end of the first trimester of 2023 the subsidence has been almost 70%.

The IEA estimates that in North Americaafter strong demand growth in 2022, this year it will decrease by 2%.

The authors of the report emphasize that there are a series of uncertainties and risks that hover over their initially reassuring forecasts.

Among them, they highlight the possibility of unfavorable weather conditions, such as a summer very dry or a colder than usual winter, but also an even more pronounced stoppage in Russian gas shipments to Europe via pipelines, as well as lower-than-expected availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

In principle, the supply of LNG will increase by 4% (the equivalent of about 20,000 million cubic meters) and half of that increase will come from USAwhich will become the world leader in the export of gas by sea.


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