06:17 The Dutch consumed less natural gas last year due to higher energy prices

06:17 The Dutch consumed less natural gas last year due to higher energy prices

Natural gas consumption in the Netherlands fell last year due to the sharp rise in gas prices. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) states that due to the market situation, power stations more often prefer coal to generate electricity, for example. Gas consumption by industry has also decreased.

In total, approximately 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas was consumed. That is 2 billion less than a year ago. Only some of these are households.

According to Statistics Netherlands, total gas consumption in the Netherlands has fluctuated between 38 billion and 44 billion cubic meters since 2012. But the comparison with previous years is also a bit inaccurate, as the weather is relatively cold in 2021. Last year consumption was even higher than in 2020. The situation did not change until June.

The war in Ukraine has further increased gas prices

Gas prices have risen sharply in recent days due to the war in Ukraine. On Wednesday, the price of European natural gas reached a new record. But Russia has already limited gas supplies in the past year. This happened at a time when energy demand was rising sharply after shutdowns caused by the corona pandemic.

If you only look at gas consumption for electricity generation, the figures turn out to be more intense. Ultimately, 29% less gas was used for this. According to the statistical office, this decrease was offset by both an increase in electricity imports and electricity generation, for example via wind turbines and coal-fired power stations.

Less gas imports due to scarcity

The figures also show that gas imports were lower last year than a year ago. According to Statistics Netherlands, this decrease is also related to the high gas price and the scarcity of gas on the European market.

Our own gas storage has also shrunk. At the end of December, there was still 5 billion cubic meters of underground storage, while at the end of 2020 the stock was still 11 billion cubic meters.

A few years ago, the Netherlands was still a net exporter of gas, but the phasing out of gas extraction in Groningen has made us more dependent on foreign countries. Last year less gas was extracted from the ground. All gas fields represent 20.6 billion cubic meters, up from 22.8 billion in 2020.

Source: NU