Gas consumption in the first half of this year was much lower than in the first half of 2021. Energy Minister Tine van der Straiten (Gruen) warns that energy prices will remain high.
For homes and smaller businesses, gas consumption fell 18.5 percent between January 1 and June 26 compared to the previous year, according to figures from gas network operator Fluxys. Perhaps this is due to higher energy prices, but not only because of this. The winter of 2021 was also significantly colder than this year, with 27 freezing days between January and April, compared to 17 this year.
The industry’s gas consumption also declined by 11.2 percent, reflecting higher prices, highlighting its weakness due to its dependence on gas. The power plants required 26.45 percent less gas, due to the high availability of nuclear power plants and the full spread of the first area of wind turbines offshore.
According to Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Green), there are currently no indications that the energy supply is at risk. “But the situation is evaluated every day,” she says. “Smart use of energy is more important than ever.”
The federal government actually launched the “I have an effect. be” campaign in April to encourage families to take energy-saving measures. According to Van der Straeten, the campaign, with concrete energy-saving measures, had a significant impact.
At the same time, she warns that there is no healing coming. “The painful truth is that energy prices will remain high and may rise if Russian President Vladimir Putin turns off gas,” she said. To prepare for the upcoming winter, additional steps are needed. She says insulation is the best option and it’s best to start now.
Van der Straeten asks regions to take responsibility for advising citizens to insulate or install solar panels, and to ensure that a second zone of offshore wind turbines can be built as quickly as possible. “Infrastructure works should not lead to delays,” she says, referring to the controversial Ventilus project, the high-voltage line intended to deliver electricity from offshore winds inland.
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