Germany’s gas reserves filling up quicker than expected
With winter just around the corner, Germany has been desperately trying to fill up its gas reserves. On Sunday, the German Vice-Chancellor confirmed that the reserves were filling up quickly, easing fears of households not having access to heating in the coming months.
German gas reserves target set to be achieved
Germany is expected to avoid the worst consequences of a gas shortage during the winter months, after Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck told reporters that the gas storage targets set by the government have been met. “The reservoirs are filling up quicker than planned," he told Der Spiegel magazine. Habeck’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action claimed that the target for October - reaching 85 percent capacity - could be reached as early as the beginning of September.
Germany’s gas supplies are currently at 82 percent of its storage capacity, according to gas infrastructure operators’ group GIE. The next target is 95 percent capacity by the beginning of November, which should also be reached ahead of time.
Germany has been implementing a number of methods to save gas, including reopening coal power plants, buying energy from other suppliers and introducing a number of energy-saving measures for residents and businesses, as well as public institutions.
Germany reduces reliance on Russian gas
Germany’s supply of gas has been under threat since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the planned opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline cancelled and the amount of gas being supplied by Russia through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline being reduced by around 20 percent. Russia is now planning to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days from August 31, leading to several prominent politicians accusing Russia of using gas as a weapon.
In 2021, 55 percent of Germany’s energy came from Russian gas. This August, Russian gas only accounted for 9,5 percent of Germany’s consumption. Germany’s gas supply is now largely being supplied by the Netherlands and Norway, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) also expected to be imported from France, Qatar and the US.
Germany’s gas reserves are intended to be used by energy companies if needed to meet demand. "Companies will then be able to withdraw gas from the storage facilities as planned over the winter to also supply industry and households," Habeck told Der Spiegel.