BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's gas consumption fell by more than a third in May compared with the previous year, the BDEW power industry association said on Thursday, citing high prices, energy savings and mild weather as reasons for the drop.
As Europe's biggest economy raced to avert the disruption of critical industries from cuts to Russian gas supplies, the country's gas consumption fell by 14.3% in the first five months of the year to 460 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), BDEW said.
Significantly milder weather this spring than in 2021 was a reason for the drop as gas is mainly used for heating, the association said.
Consumption fell by 34.7% in May and by 10.8% when adjusted for temperature effects, BDEW said.
In a statement, BDEW Managing Director Kerstin Andreae said the economic downturn and the government's appeals to people to save energy as part of efforts to reduce dependency on Russian fuel also played a role.
Electricity generation from natural gas, which accounted for 12% of total gas consumption last year, also declined by 14.3% in the first five months of the year to 37 billion kWh.
But generation from gas-fired power plants in May was slightly more in 2021 because of less renewable energy and the phase out of nuclear and coal, it said, without specifying how much more.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Barbara Lewis)