Germany could miss gas saving targets as harsh winter approaches
According to a Deutsche Bank report, Germans need to reduce their gas consumption by at least 20% to get through the winter without shortages, but households have already increased their consumption.
Germany may not meet its gas savings targets due to colder than average temperatures.
The German government’s goal of filling gas storage facilities 95% by November 1 is now in jeopardy, Business Insider reported on Monday.
According to a Deutsche Bank report published by the news site, German households must reduce their gas consumption by at least 20% to get through the winter without shortages.
But households have already increased their consumption in September compared to last year, experts told the news site.
If German households reduce their gas consumption by 15%, the country will likely avoid shortages until early March, experts say.
But if consumption drops by only 10%, gas storage facilities will be empty in February, experts said.
READ MORE: Germany set to reduce gas consumption and urges to limit heating in offices
Consumption “up sharply”
The Federal Network Agency, based in Bonn, is a higher German federal authority, which decides whether or not to ration gas in the event of a shortage.
“I am not at all satisfied with the figures for private consumption, which is exploding at the start of the cold season,” Klaus Muller, the agency’s boss, told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Muller added that with current consumption figures, he did not see Germany going through the winter without gas shortages.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the price of natural gas, there are energy conservation campaigns, and yet consumption is increasing sharply,” Muller said.
READ MORE: German business morale down sharply on fears of impending recession
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, is facing the biggest energy crisis in its history, due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia halted gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline earlier this month in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow for its offensive on kyiv.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was suspended in February by the German government, in response to Russian threats against Ukraine.
Following the explosions last week on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the gas would no longer be supplied by Russia “for the foreseeable future”.
Before the conflict in Ukraine, Russia supplied 55% of Germany’s natural gas, but the government managed to reduce this dependency to 26% at the end of June, according to official figures.
READ MORE: Germany, Denmark and Sweden form unit to investigate pipeline explosions