Berlin calls on Germany to save gas in light of lackluster stockpiles
As German Gas storage levels decrease once again, the head of the Federal Network Agency calls on the German public to save on energy.
Though Germany has decent stockpiles of gas, the winter can be quite the long one for the country, German Federal Network Agency head Klaus Müller said on Saturday.
"We have stored a lot of gas, but the winter can last a long time," Müller said on Twitter. "To avoid a gas shortage, we must save gas, set up LNG terminals, and secure our infrastructure."
Erstmalig sehen wir ein leichtes Ausspeichern aus den 🇩🇪 #Gasspeichern (3.11.): -0,03% auf 99,26%. Wir haben viel Gas gespeichert, aber der Winter kann Iange dauern. Um eine Gasmangellage zu vermeiden, müssen wir Gas sparen, LNG Terminals errichten & unsere Infrastruktur sichern.— Klaus Müller (@Klaus_Mueller) November 5, 2022
Müller underlined that this is the first time that Germany experiences a slight withdrawal from its gas storage facilities.
According to the energy chief, the gas stockpiles fell slightly, by 0.03%, to be exact, reaching 99.26%. He explained that there was still growth in individual storage facilities, though others are yet to give up gas.
Müller said the amount of gas that Berlin currently has would only suffice for nine to ten weeks. This applies "if you take a warm winter like 2021/22 as a basis and we only have to supply ourselves from the storage facilities," he explained.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said last week that German citizens would need to learn to be modest and accept the sacrifices and losses they are going through during the current crisis.
"It is clear that, over the coming years, we will need to accept that sacrifices must be made. Most have already felt the effects. We all must contribute to whatever we can. This crisis demands that we relearn to be modest," the president said, addressing the country over the Ukraine crisis and the challenges it has triggered for the German people.
Meanwhile, Alternative for Germany party (AfD) co-chair Tino Chrupalla underlined that Germany won't be Europe's gas hub for the sale of hydrocarbons - instead, it will have to purchase Russian fossil fuels from other countries, including Turkey.
This comes despite Germany announcing in mid-October that its gas reserves have been filled up to 95% faster than anticipated.
The biggest economy in Europe was largely reliant on Russian gas and scrambled to increase its supplies before winter after exports from Russia were stopped following the start of the war in Ukraine. "Storage levels today surpassed an average level of 95 percent," the Economy Ministry said in a statement. "That shows that regulation is having an effect and supply is strengthened for the coming winter."
Berlin set a number of objectives in July to ensure that gas stocks would be 95% full by November. Economy Minister Robert Habeck referred to his country filling its gas stockpiles as an "important milestone".
He said government measures had managed "to regulate a market that was largely unregulated in the past decades so that we could fill the storage facilities faster than expected despite the halt in deliveries via the Nord Stream 1" pipeline from Russia.
The administration said that recent energy-saving initiatives and sizable gas purchases from other providers had resulted in important advancements.
Berlin has also implemented policies that permit the use of more coal-based energy and lower energy consumption in public structures.
Additionally, it has invested 1.50 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in the purchase of liquefied natural gas from Qatar and the United States, two of its key suppliers. Five new LNG terminals are also being developed for the purpose of importing LNG by sea.