EU GAS DEMAND FELL 11%
European gas demand fell 11.2% on the year in 2014 to 409 Bcm, or 4,418 TWh, because of "exceptionally warm" weather, industry association Eurogas said Wednesday.
The weather was the warmest in Dutch and German recorded history, and the warmest in 50 years for the Czech Republic, the organization said.
This reduced the need for heating. The size of the year-on-year change was further boosted by the fact that 2013's winter had been colder than average.
Eurogas said that "notably low coal prices" and "low carbon dioxide prices" had also reduced gas consumption in the power generation sector, combined with competition from increased renewable energy sources.
It also pointed to "a sluggish economic situation," although in some countries, such as Germany and Ireland, industrial demand for gas increased.
In the Eurogas figures, covering the EU 28 countries, the biggest single consumer was Germany with 2014 demand of 76.2 Bcm, down 12.6% on the year.
The second biggest consumer was the UK at 71.5 Bcm, down 9.1% on the year.
Italy comes third at 60.7 Bcm, down 11.6% on the year.
Eurogas also provides gas consumption figures for Turkey, although these are not included in its 409 Bcm total. Turkey, in contrast to Europe, is growing.
Turkey's 2014 consumption of 47.5 Bcm was up 7.0% from the year before.
Looking back over past Eurogas data, and adjusting the figures to the EU 27 countries (Croatia, a small gas consumer, joined the EU in mid-2013 as the 28th member state), demand has shown a general downtrend in recent years.
EU 27 consumption in 2009 was 487 Bcm.
There was an increase in 2010 to 527 Bcm, but then year-on-year falls to 477 Bcm in 2011, 465 Bcm in 2012, 458 Bcm in 2013 and 407 Bcm in 2014.
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