Europe May Need to Reduce Gas Use by 30% This Winter

June 28, 2022

Europe may need to curtail gas usage by as much as 30% this winter if Russia cuts supply, according to projections from the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

Europe is already scrambling to shore up gas supplies to put into storage for the coming winter, a task made more difficult after Russia, citing technical difficulties, cut flows through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 60%. 

The region’s gas supply could be threatened further if Russia decides to halt the supply completely, something that the IEA warns Europe must prepare for. In a statement to Bloomberg, IEA executive director Faith Birol urged European leaders not to “exclude a complete cut-off of gas exports to Europe from Russia.”

The EU’s current projections show that the region is on track to hit 90% of its storage capacity by November 1, but that a cut-off would bring that level down to less than 75%, which the IEA notes would mean “significantly higher” gas prices.

Germany, the largest economy in the EU, is already trying to incentivize both industry and consumers to cut gas use. The nation is planning to introduce an auction system this summer that would pay industrial users to save fuel, while also encouraging people to use less at home by taking shorter showers.

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