“The situation is serious,” Habeck said in a statement. “So we continue to strengthen the precautions and take additional measures to reduce gas consumption. This means that gas consumption should decrease further, but more gas should be placed in storage facilities, otherwise things will get really tight in the winter.”
Germany relies heavily on Moscow gas to power its homes and heavy industries, but it has managed to reduce Moscow’s share of its imports to 35% from 55% before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Habek said the security of supplies is now assured despite the “deterioration of the situation in the gas market” in recent days. Habek said the high prices were (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s “strategy to destabilize us, raise prices and divide us”.
“We will not allow that. We are responding decisively, carefully and thoughtfully,” he said.
Despite Germany’s plans to exit coal-fired power production, Habeck, a Green Party politician in the center-left ruling coalition, has announced a return to “coal-fired power plants for a transitional period” in order to reduce gas consumption for electricity. Produce.
“We are creating an on-demand alternative gas reserve. This is bitter, but in this case it is almost necessary to reduce gas consumption,” Habek said.
Gas Storage Rules
The Habik Ministry is preparing a “gas auction model that will be launched this summer to motivate industrial gas consumers to save gas,” according to the press release. Habek said the industry was a major factor in reducing gas consumption.
In March, German lawmakers passed a gas storage law stating that gas storage facilities must be almost completely full at the start of the heating period in order to safely get through winter.
“Filling levels are set for this purpose: by October 1, storage facilities should be 80% full, by November 1, 90%, and by February 1, still 40%.” , according to law.
Currently, at around 56%, gas storage tanks are being filled to a higher than average level in Germany than in previous years even though storage levels were at an all-time low at the start of the year.
“We must and will do everything in our power to store as much gas as possible in the summer and fall. Gas storage facilities must be full in the winter. This is the highest priority,” Habeck said.
Since then, Russian energy giant Gazprom has offered customers a solution. Buyers can make payments in euros or dollars to an account in Russia’s Gazprombank, which will then convert the money into rubles and transfer it to a second account through which the payment is made to Russia.
But several European companies, including Shell Energy, refused to comply, prompting Gazprom to halt supplies of natural gas to German Shell customers in June.
The Russian energy giant said it was reducing gas shipments because Germany’s Siemens Energy delayed the return of turbines in need of repair.
Siemens has moved turbines to one of its Canadian plants for maintenance. It said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “impossible” to return the equipment to Russia due to the sanctions Canada imposed on the country over its invasion of Ukraine.
In response to Gazprom’s move, Habek said the justification for announcing further cuts in gas supplies to Europe was an “excuse” and a strategy to increase prices.
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