There was a drop of around 11 % for gas demand between 2013 and 2014, driven by many factors such as low coal and CO₂ prices pushing gas out of the power generation mix, a continuation of the slow economic situation and a significantly warmer than average year, leading to significant reduction in the need for heating.
EU gas demand in 2015 saw a 4 % recovery from the previous year to 4,595 TWh, which can again be linked to a number of factors with sectoral differences at a country level.
During 2016, EU gas demand increased again by 6.7 % to 4,903 TWh. The reduction in gas prices that had started towards the end of 2015 continued into first half of 2016, and although gas prices increased in the final quarter of the year, coal prices increased 68 % compared to same period in 2015 meaning gas competitiveness increased in the power generation market. Power generation analysis has shown a significant coal to gas switch in a number of countries during 2016, linked to the above-mentioned price situation, but this was also influenced by the ongoing Carbon Price Floor2 policy in the UK.
In 2017 further increase in gas demand was observed, reaching 5,077 TWh (+ 3,5 %). Coal to gas switch continues moderately. Gas prices were higher comparing previous year – strong demand of gas for power and storage injections have supported gas price in EU hubs during summer and increase in gas demand in winter.
In 2018 stabilisation in the context of gas demand was observed – 5,080 TWh was reached, meaning that value was comparable to 2017. At the beginning of the year, Europe experienced an extreme cold spell. Gas hub tested to limit on cold snap and prices reached multi-year highs. These circumstances led to declaration of early warning in few European countries and as a consequence of the situation, significant gas withdraw from storages was observed. Later the year, during summer, gas consumption was lower and allowed to fill the gas storages to be prepared in case of any events. Last quarter of 2018 showed decrease of gas demand comparing with the 2017.