Cold climate causes increase in EU gas usage


(MENAFN) As a cold weather spell blankets Europe, the continent is experiencing a significant surge in natural gas consumption, depleting emergency supplies stored in underground facilities.

According to a Thursday report from Vedomosti, the European Union (EU) has withdrawn four times more gas from its reserves in December compared to the previous month, as increased energy usage becomes imperative to combat the winter chill. Data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) reveals that net gas withdrawal from the European Union's underground storage facilities spiked to an average of 563 million cubic meters per day in early December, a stark contrast to the 157 million cubic meters per day recorded in November.

The escalating demand has taken a toll on gas inventories in the European Union, causing them to decline by 6.3 percent of their total capacity, now standing at 93.3 percent. This comes on the heels of the European Union reporting record-high natural gas volumes reaching nearly 98 percent of capacity in October. The surge in gas consumption can be attributed to the colder weather, prompting increased heating needs across the continent.

Notably, renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, faced a setback in December, covering only about 15 percent of the European Union's energy requirements, further emphasizing the growing dependence on traditional energy sources during the winter months.

Meanwhile, Russian energy giant Gazprom continues its gas transit to Western and Central Europe through Ukraine, utilizing the sole remaining gas-pumping station, Sudzha. As of early December, Gazprom had supplied 42.4 million cubic meters per day to meet the region's energy demands.

This article delves into the details of the surge in European gas consumption driven by the cold weather, examining its impact on gas reserves and highlighting the challenges posed to renewable energy sources during peak winter demand. It also explores the ongoing role of Gazprom in maintaining gas supply stability to Western and Central Europe amid the heightened seasonal requirements.

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