Germany issues early warning of winter energy shortages
Germany's gas storage facilities are already more full than during the summer of 2022. Nevertheless, the Federal Network Agency warns of potential risks to energy supplies in the winter, calling on consumers to be frugal.
Despite well-stocked gas storage facilities, Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA) is unwilling to clear the air about the issue of energy supplies in the winter. Continuing to see „residual risks” in gas shortages, the agency has repeatedly called on consumers to be frugal. Although it is true that other sources of supply will be available, once Russian gas is out,
„it’s still too early to declare victory,”
– FNA Chairman Klaus Müller told Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in a recent interview, listing a potentially cold winter in Europe among the residual risks.
„In the end, attacks on power lines remain a horror scenario.”
– he warned. Economic expert Veronika Grimm also urged citizens to save on heating next winter.
„Gas supplies could be tight again, even with the LNG terminals that have been built,”
– the expert, also a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, said. She believes that what was true last winter will be even more true this winter, and that Europeans can only hope that it will be as mild as back in 2022.
According to the federal government’s earlier statement, the amount of natural gas – with storage facilities running at 100 per cent of their capacity – is roughly equivalent to the consumption of two to three average cold winter months. In other words, if the storage facilities were full to the brim and no supplies were coming in at all, the country would barely be able to get by for two to three months, provided enough gas was saved in the meantime.
In the context of Germany’s shrinking economy, Ms Grimm also underlined in her interview that Germans must prepare for tough times.
„At this stage of stagnation in the German economy, it matters less whether we are just above, or below the zero line.”
– she said, adding that politicians need to make it clear to the public that climate-neutralising the economy will definitely cost.