Eurostat said that in order to adapt to the energy crisis, EU countries have reduced their natural gas consumption by 20% in the past 4 months. Overall, the level is higher than the 15% target voluntarily set by EU member states in August.
According to reports, this reflects the EU's efforts to reduce energy demand. Russia has been sanctioned by the European Union over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, so it has slashed its natural gas supply. Eurostat said Finland was leading the way, reducing gas consumption by 53% between August and November this year compared with the same period in 2017-2021.
Except for Malta and Slovakia, which increased their natural gas consumption by less than 10% in the four months, all other EU countries saw their natural gas consumption decline, with major economies Germany and France reducing their natural gas consumption by 25% and 20% respectively over the same period . Cyprus is the only EU country that does not use natural gas.
As countries scramble to fill up gas reserves before winter, the European Union announced on Monday it would impose price caps if gas prices soar to record highs in August. After months of debate, gas futures contracts were capped at 180 euros per megawatt-hour, nearly half of August's peak of almost 340 euros.
According to reports, on the 20th, the benchmark price of European natural gas futures was about 107 euros per megawatt-hour. Germany and the European Commission worry that the price cap could prompt gas suppliers to switch to more profitable Asian markets.
The report pointed out that the price limit mechanism will only be triggered when the price of natural gas exceeds the upper limit for 3 consecutive days and is more than 35 euros higher than the global price of liquefied natural gas.
The European Commission also reserves the right to stop the mechanism if it creates supply problems. The Kremlin has slammed the EU's price caps for undermining market pricing.