German natural gas imports fell 12 percent last year to 1,449 terawatt hours (TWh), according to Friday data from the German Federal Utility Network Supervisor (Bundesnetzagentur).
Russia suspended Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline deliveries at the end of August. The missing amount was traced from Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. To make up for the shortfall, the Berlin government rushed through rules for the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on ships.
Due to Germany’s tight situation, exports to neighboring countries, previously made possible by traditionally generous Russian energy supplies, have been reduced, although lower demand elsewhere has reduced supplies, the regulatory authority noted. Total German gas exports were 501 TWh, down a third from 749 TWh a year earlier.
German gas consumption fell 14 percent last year thanks to weather and cost-saving measures. By this time, industrial consumption has decreased by 15 percent and consumption by private households and businesses has decreased by 12 percent compared to 2021.
The average annual temperature in Germany last year was 1.1°C higher than the average of the previous four years.
German gas consumption showed an even steeper decline in the last three months of the year.
Industrial firms saw their consumption fall by 23 percent, while households and businesses saw their consumption fall by 21 percent.
Natural gas’s share of total German primary energy consumption will drop to 23.8 percent in 2022 from 26.6 percent the previous year, according to a report by AGEB, the statistical and professional representative body of the German energy sector, at the end of December.
According to their announcement, Germany’s total energy consumption fell by 4.7 percent last year, adjusted for the temperature effect by 3.9 percent, to the lowest level since reunification.
Germany’s gas storage level currently stands at a comfortable 90.72 percent, well above the 40 percent threshold deemed critical by the regulator in early February. However, after the winter of 2023, replenishment of reservoirs will continue to be a challenge given the high degree of uncertainty about Germany’s public supply situation, they added.
Cover image: Getty Images
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