Amid cuts in gas supplies from Russia, German authorities have sounded the alarm – the second phase of an emergency plan, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in Berlin on June 23.
Gas is now a “rare commodity in Germany,” Gabeck said.
“Despite the fact that gas reserves can still be bought on the market and stored, the situation is serious and winter will come,” he added.
The first level of the contingency plan – an early warning function – was announced in late March due to.
The second level – alarm function – is introduced in case of interruption of gas supply or extremely high gas demand. At the same time, this stage presupposes that the market is able to deal with these problems on its own, without taking non-market measures. For example, when gas suppliers are given the right to pass on sharply rising prices directly to consumers.
According to German government sources, under the pretext of summer maintenance of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Russia’s Gazprom may completely suspend gas supplies to Germany. According to the interlocutors, such a situation could cause an energy crisis in the country in winter.
Despite being a regular technical process, Gazprom has previously offset Nord Stream downtime for repairs by increasing supplies from other pipelines until Russian concern maintains surplus capacity and increases pumping through Ukraine.
Nord Stream cut supplies to Germany, which are estimated at an average of 50-60%, Gazprom announced in mid-June. The drop in exports to the Russian company was explained by problems with turbines for pumping gas from Siemens, which due to sanctions can not be removed after repairs from the plant in Canada.
Berlin sees the decision as a policy and says it is putting pressure on the EU.
Russia has been cutting gas supplies to the EU for a year, but this week they have fallen to unprecedented levels for decades – about 100 million cubic meters a day. In May, Gazprom supplied 250 million a day and three years ago – 500 million.
In the run-up to the biggest energy crisis since the 1970s, European consumers of Russian gas are developing plans to rehabilitate coal-fired power plants and are going to normalize gas consumption, first voluntarily and then compulsorily. According to European and German officials, the energy shortages will continue for at least three years.
The Kremlin denies any role in the energy crisis, citing four times as much gas in Europe last year as a result of EU energy market reform and Western sanctions against Russia.
source: radio svoboda