Officials in Germany on Tuesday said that the situation with natural gas in the country was “tense” and could worsen, just days after the government triggered the “alert level” of its emergency gas plan.
“The situation is tense and a worsening of the situation cannot be ruled out,” it noted.
However, it stressed that the gas supply in Germany is currently stable and that presently, the security of supply in Germany continues to be “safeguarded.”
The storage level at the Rehden facility in northern Germany, one of the largest pore storage facilities in Western Europe, is at 16.59 percent, officials said.
However, the Bundesnetzagentur noted that the flow of gas from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is the main pipeline transporting natural gas to Germany from Russia, has been reduced to about 40 percent of its maximum capacity.
Sounding the AlarmGermany is the world’s top importer of Russian gas, getting roughly 35 percent of its natural gas from the transcontinental country.
However, on June 23, Germany triggered the “alarm stage” of its three-level gas emergency plan aimed at safeguarding against shortages.
The final stage of the plan would involve rationing gas supplies throughout the country, but that has not yet been triggered.
“We can’t pretend otherwise: The reduction in the gas supplies is an attack on our economy by Putin. It is manifestly Putin’s strategy to sow uncertainty, to drive up prices, and to split our society. We are defending ourselves against this. But we as a country have to take a difficult path. Even if we don’t feel it yet, we are in the midst of a gas crisis. From now on, gas is a scarce asset.”
To offset the drop in gas supplies from Russia ahead of a potential energy crisis this winter, Germany has decided to restart decommissioned coal power plants.
“We are bringing coal-fired power plants back to the market, and cutting the volume of gas consumed. This is painful, because coal-fired power plants are simply toxic for the climate. But we have to do it for a transitional period in order to save gas and get through the winter,” said Habeck.
The country has also vowed to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.