The storage of gas in Germany has almost come to a standstill after the Russian deliveries through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 were stopped. Gas is currently still being stored net, a spokesman for the Federal Network Agency told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. “But that’s at a very low level.” As can be seen from the website of Europe’s gas infrastructure operator (GIE), the filling level of German gas storage facilities recently rose by only 0.09 percent a day.
In order to avoid a gas shortage in winter, Germany is currently trying to fill its gas storage facilities as quickly as possible. According to the law, the gas storage tanks should be 80 percent full by October 1st and 90 percent by November 1st. However, Germany is still a long way from this goal. The gas storage facilities are just 64.6 percent full, as reported by the Federal Network Agency. You corrected earlier information, according to which the fill level was already 64.9 percent.
The fact that the gas storage tanks are currently hardly being filled up is largely due to the stop in Russian deliveries through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. No gas has been delivered through the last most important route for Russian natural gas to Germany since Monday due to maintenance work. According to the operating company, the work should last until July 21. In Germany there is concern that the pipeline will not be put back into operation after the maintenance work and that gas will run out in winter.
Political developments and voices on the war – Gazprom cannot guarantee the operation of the Nord Stream pipeline “under these circumstances”.
After the temporary shutdown of Nord Stream 1, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom continues to pump its gas via Ukraine to Europe despite the war. However, the delivery volume agreed for Wednesday is only 41.3 million cubic meters and thus not even half of the possible volume. This emerges from reports from the Ukrainian gas network operator and Gazprom. The volume corresponded to that of the past few days, although larger volumes could actually be passed through the shutdown of Nord Stream 1 for maintenance work until July 21.
In order to save gas and thus enable more storage, more coal-fired power plants will soon be used to generate electricity in Germany. The federal cabinet passed a corresponding ordinance on Wednesday. “We now want to save gas in the summer in order to fill our storage tanks for the winter,” said Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). Power plants that are operated with coal and oil and are currently in the grid reserve can therefore return to the electricity market for a limited period until the end of winter. The ordinance is expected to come into effect on Thursday.
From the point of view of the energy economist Claudia Kemfert, a gas shortage does not necessarily have to occur even if Russia were to stop all gas deliveries to Germany. “Whether there really is a gas shortage depends on various aspects,” said the energy expert from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) of the German Press Agency. These included, above all, the development of gas supply relationships with countries other than Russia, the constant filling of storage facilities and the saving of gas.
In addition, there are other options. “But if at least the first three components are well done, I don’t see that we actually have to have a gas shortage,” said Kemfert. Germany has started these measures or is already on the right track.
So far, Germany’s alternative sources of conventional natural gas have primarily included the Netherlands and Norway. In the case of liquid gas, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) tried to find new supply relationships on a trip to Qatar in the spring. Whether, when and how much more gas will actually come from the emirate is an open question.
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The Federal Government and the Federal Network Agency have repeatedly called on consumers and industry to save energy. The President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Peter Adrian, asked private consumers and less energy-intensive companies to start saving energy consistently out of solidarity with industry. “There are real supply bottlenecks and our entire economy is threatened with a crisis of unknown proportions. The consequences of shutting down individual sectors or companies cannot be overseen,” said Adrian of the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday).
Attitudes towards work also change over the generations. Much to the chagrin of Europapark boss Mack, who is currently desperately looking for workers for his amusement park. He cannot understand the work ethic of the younger generation, which is geared towards balance and little stress.
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In view of the gas crisis, the German Association of Cities recommended forward-looking measures. Cities and municipalities should think about heat halls and heat islands for the winter. In Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, this is already being done.