Germany’s ‘tense’ gas situation could become ‘very serious’ if people overuse, officials warn

The head of Germany’s national network regulator warned Thursday that the gas situation in Germany could become “very critical” if the country doesn’t sharply cut consumption for the winter.

Federal Network Agency Director Klaus Müller wrote on twitter German gas consumption “increased significantly last week”, with German homes and small businesses using nearly 10% more gas than average consumption from 2018 to 2021.

according to official dataIn the week of September 26, the average electricity consumption of households and small businesses across Germany was 618 gigawatt hours (GWh/day) per day, compared with the average for the same week from 2018 to 2021, according to 10% higher. It was 564 GWh/day.

Industrial consumption also increased by 2% (1,370 gigawatts), Mueller said.

“We will struggle to avoid a winter gas emergency without savings of at least 20 percent in the private, commercial and industrial sectors,” Müller said. If we don’t cut back, the situation could get very serious.”

Overall, households and small businesses account for about 40% of German gas consumption, while large manufacturing industries account for the remaining 60%.

With dire warnings that the Germans must “absolutely cut back on consumption,” imports of liquefied natural gas, gas supplies from Germany’s neighbors Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as complete storage, will make the country Muller said it could help them get through it. winter.

German regulators said on Thursday that gas storage facilities were more than 92% full. But the agency with the authority to impose rations in cases of severe shortages warned:The situation is tense and “a further deterioration of the situation cannot be ruled out”, pointing to volatile fluctuations in gas prices.

Epoch Times photo
On July 14, 2022, the pipes of the gas storage plant Lekrod were photographed near Eiterfeld in central Germany after the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was closed for maintenance. (Canadian Press/AP/Michael Probst)

“Next winter may also be very difficult.”

The warning comes at a time when Germany is now in the second phase of a three-step contingency plan aimed at protecting against shortages amid declining gas flows from Russia, a former major gas supplier. will be

Russian gas accounted for about 55% of total German consumption in 2021, but only 9.5% of that consumption came from Russia in August, according to the BDEW German Electricity Industry Association .

The final phase of Germany’s three-stage emergency plan involves the distribution of gas supplies across the country, which has not yet started.

With constant warnings from German authorities that energy supplies could be limited this winter, sales of heaters fell year-on-year from January to August, according to data from market research firm Growth From Knowledge. Sales of electric heaters in the home are soaring, showing a 76% increase. Early period.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, the head of the International Energy Agency said Europe’s gas stores were nearly full this winter, and barring political or technological shocks, the EU could end the winter with a few “wounds”. He said it meant he could get through it.

“It’s not bad where we are. If there were no political and technological surprises, Europe could go through this winter with a few bruises here and there if the winter was… a normal winter.” But you can come in February, and then March,” said CNBC’s Fatih Birol. report.

But he warned that next winter could be even more difficult if China’s gas imports increase.

“This time, I was taken care of by [is that] We have been importing gas from Russia for the past few months,” he said. Moreover, what Birol called a “very sluggish economic performance” caused China to “import less gas than it otherwise would have.”

“If the Chinese economy recovers next year and Chinese gas imports increase, [a] The months from March to the following winter are quite difficult. So this winter is difficult, but next winter may be very difficult,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Katavera Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on US, world and business news.