“An economic attack on us by Putin”
After coordinating with the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection announced the today. Supply security is guaranteed. Currently, gas quantities are available on the market and are being stored. However, if Russia continues to restrict its deliveries, the gas storage tanks may not be able to achieve the legally prescribed filling level of 90 percent by December without additional measures.
Currently, only 40 percent of the regular amount is flowing through the North Stream I pipeline. The gas supply is therefore disrupted, which results in a considerable deterioration of the gas supply situation. This is why the alert level has been announced.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck: “The situation is serious, and winter will come. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves: the throttling of gas deliveries is an economic attack on us by Putin. It is clearly Putin’s strategy to incite insecurity, drive up the prices and divide us as a society. We are resisting this. However, it will be a rocky path that we will have to take.”
Reducing gas consumption, filling storage tanks
Following the declaration of the early warning level at the end of March, no state interventions in the gas market are planned at the alert level. However, the Federal Government is taking additional measures in order to guarantee supply reliability. These include the provision of a credit line of 15 billion euros in order to ensure that the gas storage tanks are filled. A further step is intended to reduce gas consumption in Germany.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Habeck announced that the Federal Government will make use of additional coal-fired power stations to boost the electricity supply in order to replace gas-fired power stations. The Federal Cabinet laid the foundation for this with the Act on keeping backup power plants available in order to reduce gas consumption in the electricity sector.
“We in the Federal Government are doing everything we can to alleviate the consequences and maintain supply security. Filling the gas tanks now has top priority. We are arranging alternative gas deliveries and working flat out to build the necessary infrastructure,” said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck.
No automatic price increases
The Energy Security Act enables energy providers to pass on high purchasing prices for natural gas to their customers under the alert level by raising the consumer prices to an appropriate level. The Federal Government is not currently applying this mechanism. Before they could do so, the Federal Network Agency would also have to determine that gas imports to Germany had been considerably reduced overall. This requires an announcement to this effect in the Federal Gazette.
Call to save energy
The gas scarcity means it is even more important to save energy. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck recently launched an energy saving campaign at an energy efficiency summit in Berlin. “Saving energy is the imperative of the next few months. All consumers – whether in industry, in public institutions or in private households – should continue to reduce their gas consumption as far as possible so that we can get through the winter. As a government, we are promoting energy efficiency and also implementing energy-saving measures here at the ministry,” said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Habeck.