Czech Republic Businesses Reduce Natural Gas Consumption by Nearly a Fifth Amid Geopolitical Turmoil

Businesses in the Czech Republic significantly reduced their consumption of natural gas by almost a fifth in the previous year, marking a substantial decline of 4.61 billion cubic meters. Data compiled by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO), focusing on companies with 20 or more employees, revealed a notable 19.6% decrease in natural gas usage compared to the preceding year. This sharp decline was primarily influenced by the geopolitical situation and the resulting surge in market gas prices, a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February the previous year.

The decrease in natural gas consumption was evident across various sectors where it is predominantly used. The energy sector and the production of non-metallic mineral products, which includes glass manufacturing, remained the largest consumers of this energy source. The data underscores the significant impact of external geopolitical events on the energy consumption patterns of Czech businesses.

In parallel, business electricity consumption experienced a modest decline, falling by 0.8% to 45.4 terawatt hours. However, the service sector stood out with a year-on-year increase in electricity consumption, as indicated by the statistics, suggesting potentially shifting trends in energy demand among different sectors.

In contrast to natural gas and electricity, the consumption of hard coal by companies declined by 10.6%, with 5.1 million tonnes consumed during the year compared to over 5.7 million tonnes in 2021. Conversely, brown coal consumption by enterprises saw a notable 13% year-on-year increase, reaching 31.9 million tonnes last year. These contrasting trends highlight the complex dynamics of energy choices in the industrial sector.

Regarding transportation fuels, businesses in the Czech Republic consumed 11.6% more motor gasoline, totaling 195.8 million liters, compared to the previous year. However, diesel consumption recorded a 1.7% decrease, totaling 2.5 billion liters. It’s worth noting that the industrial sector experienced a slight increase in diesel consumption compared to 2021, with approximately half of this consumption occurring in the transport sector.

In summary, the significant reduction in natural gas consumption by Czech businesses reflects the profound impact of geopolitical events on energy markets. While natural gas saw a substantial decline, other energy sources and sectors displayed varying consumption patterns, suggesting a shifting landscape in the Czech Republic’s energy sector in response to external factors and changing demands.

Article by Prague Forum

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