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Europe’s Gas Storage Compared to Historical Consumption



Europe's gas storage levels

Europe’s Gas Storage Compared to Historical Consumption

In the wake of the energy crisis, Europe has been rushing to cut ties with Russian gas.

In 2021, Russia accounted for around 45% of the EU’s gas imports. As of August 2022, that figure was around 17%.

However, reducing reliance on Russian gas after years of dependence has put Europe in a precarious situation ahead of winter. To reduce the possibility of an energy crunch in the heating season, the EU bloc set a target to fill 80% of its underground gas storage by November 1.

This infographic puts Europe’s current gas storage levels in perspective by comparing them with annual gas consumption in 2021, based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe as of November 28, 2022.

Heat For the Winter

As winter approaches, many European countries have near-full gas storage levels, with the overall EU gas storage 94% full. But comparing storage with annual consumption paints a different picture.

CountryTotal Storage Capacity (TWh)% of Storage FilledStorage as a % of Annual Consumption
🇺🇦 Ukraine*32530%38%
🇩🇪 Germany24699%27%
🇮🇹 Italy19392%25%
🇳🇱 Netherlands13989%35%
🇫🇷 France13498%30%
🇦🇹 Austria9695%100%
🇭🇺 Hungary6883%52%
🇨🇿 Czech Republic4496%46%
🇸🇰 Slovakia3991%67%
🇵🇱 Poland3698%15%
🇪🇸 Spain3597%10%
🇷🇴 Romania3394%27%
🇱🇻 Latvia2459%122%
🇩🇰 Denmark1098%42%
🇬🇧 UK*10100%1%
🇧🇪 Belgium8100%5%
🇧🇬 Bulgaria693%16%
🇭🇷 Croatia595%16%
🇵🇹 Portugal498%7%
🇸🇪 Sweden0.193%1%
EU 🇪🇺111994%28%

*Ukraine and UK are non-EU countries. Nine EU countries that are not on the list do not have any gas storage sites.

Ukraine has the largest storage capacity, and while it’s only 30% full, it represents nearly 40% of the country’s annual gas consumption. However, Russia’s continuing attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure may squeeze supplies as temperatures drop.

The Nations at Risk of Running Low on Gas

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and largest importer of Russian gas, has almost completely filled its gas storage. Despite this, storage supplies only amount to 27% of annual German gas consumption. Given that half of all German households use natural gas for heating, these stocks are especially important as winter peaks.

While storage facilities in countries like Poland, Spain, and Belgium are over 90% full, they represent only a fraction of annual gas consumption at 15%, 10%, and 5% respectively. Meanwhile, countries like Austria and Latvia have stored more gas than they consume in an entire year.

The UK’s gas storage is full but makes up just 1% of its annual consumption. The majority of UK homes rely on gas for heating, and it also accounts for 30% of electricity generation. A gas crunch could lead to both higher heating and electricity prices for UK residents.

What’s Next for Europe’s Gas Crisis?

This year, warmer-than-normal temperatures and efforts to reduce gas consumption have both played important roles in controlling Europe’s energy crisis before winter sets in.

However, the region’s reliance on Russia was decades in the making, and replacing it won’t be easy. EU countries’ gas storage sites are likely to be depleted by the spring of 2023. Without pipeline gas from Russia, Europe will have limited import capacity, and filling gas storage sites for next winter could be challenging.

Europe is undertaking a number of initiatives to combat the crisis. Countries in the region (including the UK) have pledged over $700 billion to reduce energy costs for households and to meet the liquidity needs of power companies. This, along with lower consumer demand due to high gas prices, will help lessen the impacts of the crisis in the short term.

However, looking ahead to 2023 and 2024, if gas prices remain high, industrial production is likely to fall as producers cut costs. Combined with low consumer confidence and high inflation, a fall in industrial output will likely exacerbate a potential recession, should things unfold that way.

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Energy Shift

Mapped: Renewable Energy and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

This graphic describes new U.S. renewable energy installations by state along with nameplate capacity, planned to come online in 2023.



Renewable and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

Renewable energy, in particular solar power, is set to shine in 2023. This year, the U.S. plans to get over 80% of its new energy installations from sources like battery, solar, and wind.

The above map uses data from EIA to highlight planned U.S. renewable energy and battery storage installations by state for 2023.

Renewable Energy and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

Texas and California Leading in Renewable Energy

Nearly every state in the U.S. has plans to produce new clean energy in 2023, but it’s not a surprise to see the two most populous states in the lead of the pack.

Even though the majority of its power comes from natural gas, Texas currently leads the U.S. in planned renewable energy installations. The state also has plans to power nearly 900,000 homes using new wind energy.

California is second, which could be partially attributable to the passing of Title 24, an energy code that makes it compulsory for new buildings to have the equipment necessary to allow the easy installation of solar panels, battery storage, and EV charging.

New solar power in the U.S. isn’t just coming from places like Texas and California. In 2023, Ohio will add 1,917 MW of new nameplate solar capacity, with Nevada and Colorado not far behind.

Top 10 StatesBattery (MW)Solar (MW)Wind (MW)Total (MW)
New York585095591,125

The state of New York is also looking to become one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making real strides towards this objective with 11% of the nation’s new wind power projects expected to come online in 2023.

According to the data, New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that has no new utility-scale renewable energy installations planned for 2023. However, the state does have plans for a massive hydroelectric plant that should come online in 2024.

Decarbonizing Energy

Renewable energy is considered essential to reduce global warming and CO2 emissions.

In line with the efforts by each state to build new renewable installations, the Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

The EIA forecasts the share of U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources rising from 22% in 2022 to 23% in 2023 and to 26% in 2024.

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Where are Clean Energy Technologies Manufactured?

As the market for low-emission solutions expands, China dominates the production of clean energy technologies and their components.



Visualizing Where Clean Energy Technologies Are Manufactured

When looking at where clean energy technologies and their components are made, one thing is very clear: China dominates the industry.

The country, along with the rest of the Asia Pacific region, accounts for approximately 75% of global manufacturing capacity across seven clean energy technologies.

Based on the IEA’s 2023 Energy Technology Perspectives report, the visualization above breaks down global manufacturing capacity by region for mass-manufactured clean energy technologies, including onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, electric vehicles (EVs), fuel cell trucks, heat pumps, and electrolyzers.

The State of Global Manufacturing Capacity

Manufacturing capacity refers to the maximum amount of goods or products a facility can produce within a specific period. It is determined by several factors, including:

  • The size of the manufacturing facility
  • The number of machines or production lines available
  • The skill level of the workforce
  • The availability of raw materials

According to the IEA, the global manufacturing capacity for clean energy technologies may periodically exceed short-term production needs. Currently this is true especially for EV batteries, fuel cell trucks, and electrolyzers. For example, while only 900 fuel cell trucks were sold globally in 2021, the aggregate self-reported capacity by manufacturers was 14,000 trucks.

With that said, there still needs to be a significant increase in manufacturing capacity in the coming decades if demand aligns with the IEA’s 2050 net-zero emissions scenario. Such developments require investments in new equipment and technology, developing the clean energy workforce, access to raw and refined materials, and optimizing production processes to improve efficiency.

What Gives China the Advantage?

Of the above clean energy technologies and their components, China averages 65% of global manufacturing capacity. For certain components, like solar PV wafers, this percentage is as high as 96%.

Here’s a breakdown of China’s manufacturing capacity per clean energy technology.

Technology China’s share of global manufacturing capacity, 2021
Wind (Offshore)70%
Wind (Onshore) 59%
Solar PV Systems85%
Electric Vehicles71%
Fuel Cell Trucks 47%
Heat Pumps39%

So, what gives China this advantage in the clean energy technology sector? According to the IEA report, the answer lies in a combination of factors:

The mixture of these factors has allowed China to capture a significant share of the global market for clean technologies while driving down the cost of clean energy worldwide.

As the market for low-emission solutions expands, China’s dominance in the sector will likely continue in the coming years and have notable implications for the global energy and emission landscape.

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