Germany takes measures to conserve gas as Russia slows supplies to Europe

BERLIN – Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives to companies to curb natural gas consumption, a new step in the economic war between Europe and Russia.

Berlin unveiled measures after Russia on Sunday cut off gas supply to europe As of last week it punched against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine.

The move, part of a broader strategy launched after the invasion of Ukraine, aims to reduce gas consumption and divert gas delivery to storage facilities to ensure that the country is able to get through the winter. There is sufficient stock.

Gradual cut in Russia’s gas supply Raised the threat of potential fuel shortage If Europe goes into winter with less-than-complete stowage. It has also raised prices, putting additional pressure on economies that are already reeling from high inflation and rising borrowing costs and face the prospect of a recession.

Nord Stream, the main channel of Russian fuel in Europe, has reported a sharp drop in gas supply.

“It is clearly Putin’s strategy to harass us, raise prices and divide us. We will not allow that. We will defend ourselves firmly, accurately and thoughtfully,” said Germany’s economy minister, Robert Hebeck.

A natural gas storage facility in Germany. The gradual cut in supplies by Russia has raised fears of a possible fuel shortage.


photo:

David Hecker / Getty Images

Gazprom has attributed this shortcoming missing turbine parts who were stuck in Canada due to sanctions. European officials and analysts rejected the explanation.

Germany imports about 35% of its gas from Russia, down from 55% before the warAccording to estimates by the German government, and uses most of it for heating and manufacturing. Last year, electricity generation using natural gas accounted for about 15% of total public electricity in Germany, Mr Hebeck said, adding that the share of gas in electricity generation is likely to fall this year.

To accelerate the decline of gas in the electricity mix, Mr Hebek outlined a number of steps the government is taking to reduce dependence on gas and build stores for the coming winter.

In a U-turn for a leader of the environmentalist Green Party, which has campaigned to reduce fossil-fuel use, Mr Hebek said the government should empower utility companies to increase their use of coal-fired power plants. Will make

This would ensure Germany had an alternative source of energy, but would further delay the country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“It’s bitter,” said Mr Hebek of the need to rely on coal. “But in this situation, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of gas. Gas reserves should be full by winter. Its top priority.”

Mr Hebek said the law affecting the use of coal is expected to be approved in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, on 8 July. The measure expires on March 31, 2024, by which time the government hopes to create a permanent alternative to Russian gas.

Mr Hebek also said that the government would introduce an auction system that would prompt the industry to reduce consumption.

The government did not release any details about how the auction would work, but Mr Hebek said it would start this summer.

Mr Hebek said the new measures are aimed at converting dwindling gas deliveries from Russia into storage tanks used during the winter. Germany is aiming to complete 90% of its gas storage facilities by December. Currently, Germany’s gas storage facilities are about 56% full, Hebeck said.

The measures come on top of a number of steps already announced aimed at reducing Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. Under the schemes framed earlier, the government can provide ration gas for industrial users, if it runs out in winter.

Rising oil prices have helped raise the national average price for a gallon of gasoline to $5 for the first time, and this is adding to inflationary pressures in the US economy. Photo Illustration: Todd Johnson

The government has arranged to purchase gas from non-Russian sources and is accelerating the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in the North Sea near Wilhelmshaven.

Mr Hebeck said two of the four special ships planned to convert liquefied natural gas that can be fed into the German grid will be commissioned this winter, allowing the country to replenish gas supplies independent of Russia. Will get

write to William Boston [email protected]

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