Consumption of natural gas in the European Union dropped by a fifth in the months leading to winter compared to the same period over the previous five years, APA reports citing Eurostat.
During the summer, EU nations committed to voluntarily reducing their natural gas use by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023 in a bid to fill gas storage up before winter and ride out the cold season after Russia turned off the main gas pipeline to the bloc.
The target is based on a worst-case scenario calculated by the European Commission in which Russia totally cuts off gas supplies ahead of or during an unusually cold winter.
Eighteen countries overshot the target with consumption in Finland dropping by 52.7% across the August-November period compared with the average gas consumption for the same months between 2017 and 2021.
Latvia and Lithuania also operated +40% cuts.
Six EU member states — Portugal, Czechia, Spain, Ireland, Slovakia, and Malta — failed to reach the target with the latter two actually increasing gas use by 2.6% and 7.1% respectively.