Germany triggers alert level 2 in gas emergency plan
Following an intensification of tensions on the energy market in the wake of Gazprom reducing gas supplies to Germany, Economics Minister Robert Habeck has triggered emergency level two of three in the country’s gas emergency plan.
Gas warning level two activated in Germany
Habeck announced on Thursday that Germany would set in motion the second stage of its gas emergency plan, after the first warning level was initiated on March 30. The third and highest level of the plan would allow the state to intervene and ration supplies to ensure households, hospitals and the emergency services get enough.
Habeck has ruled this out for the time being, but emphasised that the situation was serious. “Cutting gas supplies is an economic attack on us,” he said at a press conference in Berlin, adding that he believed the Kremlin was deliberately throttling supplies to stoke up uncertainty and drive up prices. “We are in a gas crisis,” he repeated. “Gas is a scarce commodity from now on. Prices are already high and we have to brace for further increases.”
Private households and businesses urged to save gas
Since supply is still secure for the time being, the Federal Network Agency will not yet activate a price adjustment clause that would allow energy suppliers in Germany to pass the significantly higher prices directly onto their customers.
Habeck said the mechanism might be necessary in the future to prevent energy supply from collapsing, but that “it also has its downsides, so we are working on alternative concepts. It is important to keep the market going despite the high additional costs.”
For now, Germany will focus on filling gas storage tanks, seeking alternative providers, and expanding renewable energies while conserving gas. “It will be a national effort,” Habeck said. “All consumers - both in industry, in public institutions and in private households - should reduce their gas consumption as much as possible so that we can get through the winter.”