Germany’s Gas Strategy Pays: Stockpiles Rise Despite Russian Supply Cuts

Germany’s Gas Strategy Pays: Stockpiles Rise Despite Russian Supply Cuts

/ News & Interviews / Monday, 29 August 2022 12:00

Germany is refilling its gas stockpiles sooner than expected, amidst steep Russian supply cuts, and is likely to meet its 85% October target early, according to the government.

Europe's largest economy has raced to bolster its reserves before winter after deliveries from Russia plummeted following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Germany’s reliance on Russian gas, mostly via the Nord Stream pipeline is nearly 40% of its supply. It looks to reduce dependence on Russian supply but has acknowledged it would need a few years to become completely independent.

Last week, Germany's energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency, said the country was unlikely to meet its goals. However, the government said energy-saving measures in recent weeks and massive purchases of gas from other suppliers meant "significant progress" was made.

"Despite the difficult circumstances... the reserves are filling up more quickly than expected," Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement.

Gas flows from the main pipeline, Nord Stream, fell to 20%, with the European Union accusing Moscow of using energy as a weapon in its stand-off with the West over Ukraine. To avert the risk of energy shortages, Berlin in July set a series of goals so that gas stocks reached 95% of capacity by November.

The government has introduced measures allowing more coal-based power and reducing energy consumption in public buildings. It has also spent 1.5 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to buy liquefied natural gas, with Qatar and the United States being major suppliers, and five new LNG terminals are planned to import it by sea. However, the move would likely have an impact on the country’s efforts of reducing fossil fuel use  without overburdening consumers whose energy costs have been rising for months owing to record gas prices.

Also read:  Germany, Canada Join Hands for Transatlantic Hydrogen Trade

Also read: Algeria Set to Help Europe Diversify Its Gas Supplies

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