Natural gas consumption in the EU-28 increased by 4% in 2015, compared with 2014, and by another 7% in 2016, compared with 2015, Eurogas reported on April 10, 2017.
As the winters of 2015 and 2016 were colder, more gas was particularly used for heating in EU households.
This shows the flexibility of the gas system, compared with the limitations of the power grid, to cope with large differences in demand.
Gas demand also grew in power generation, industry and transport in some countries in 2015 and more widely in 2016.
A lot more electricity was produced from gas in France (+61%), where combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) became more competitive, and in the Netherlands.
Also in Germany, electricity from gas stepped in during lower wind availability in 2016.
In the transport sector, gas is gaining new market share both as compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid natural gas (LNG).
CNG for cars, vans and fleet vehicles have grown particularly popular in Czechia.
LNG is increasingly becoming available for trucks and as a maritime fuel, like recently in Rotterdam and in Baltic and Mediterranean ports, reducing all transport emissions and helping ships meet sulphur regulations.
Gas demand increased in 23 Member States and in Switzerland between 2015 and 2016 to 4 928.6 TWh GCV, equivalent to 456.3 bcm or 381.4 mtoe NCV.
It very slightly decreased only in Finland. European production is further declining, whilst the availability of LNG is increasing, particularly from the Americas.
Supplies of renewable gases are also developing.
In 2016 France recorded the largest increase of biomethane injected into the national gas grid: 162% compared with 2015.
Several power-to-gas plants turning excess renewable electricity into hydrogen or synthetic methane are operating in the EU.