The consumption of natural gas in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is expected to fall by almost 10 percent this year compared to the average for the period 2018 to 2021. This is apparent from a forecast by grid operator Liander.
Liander uses three user groups for the consumption of natural gas: small consumers (with a connection for less than 40 m3 natural gas per hour), large consumers (with a connection for 40 m3 natural gas per hour or more) and gas millionaires (with a consumption of more than one million m3 natural gas per year).
Currently, the expected decrease in natural gas consumption is greatest among gas millionaires (for example, large horticulturalists, hospitals and industrial companies): -20 percent. For large consumers (for example, larger shops and institutions) the predicted reduction is 12 percent. Small consumers (homes and smaller shops) are expected to consume 7 percent less gas.
In May of this year, the predicted decrease in gas consumption in the region was still 4 percent. A further analysis shows that the closed connections were also included in the calculations for the gas millionaires. As a result, the reduction in this group was much smaller than now appears to be the case. When the figures from May are adjusted for this, the decrease at the time was 7.5 percent instead of 4 percent.
War in Ukraine
The immediate reason for a rapid reduction is the war in Ukraine. “The reduction target of 15% makes us independent of Russian gas”, according to coordinator Marc van Gemert of the ‘Action Network 15% gas back’.