Germany's gas storage facilities nearly full, ahead of schedule
Germany’s gas storage facilities are now almost 95 percent full, a few weeks ahead of the November 1 deadline. The news came just as France began sending gas to the federal republic in an “act of EU solidarity” to make up for Russian supplies.
Germany’s gas reserves nearly 95 percent full
Despite the complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia, new figures have shown that Germany is still on track to meet its targets for building reserves ahead of winter. As SPIEGEL reports, the European gas infrastructure operator (GIE) website showed that the level in storage facilities rose to 94,97 percent on Wednesday evening. The federal republic has set itself the target of getting facilities 95 percent full by November 1.
The gas reserves will help ensure that households in Germany get enough power during the upcoming winter months, when energy usage is typically higher. At 100 percent capacity, the storage facilities are enough to cover domestic demand for two months.
This means that Germany will still need to focus on energy savings to make it through to the spring, the Federal Network Agency has emphasised, while also sourcing additional supplies of liquid natural gas abroad.
Putin offers to deliver gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2
Attempts to fill the reserve tanks were thrown into jeopardy when Russia drastically reduced gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1 over the summer, before shutting off the pipeline entirely in September. Nonetheless, Germany has so far managed to meet all of its gas storage targets.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to resume gas supplies to Europe via the intact sections of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. However, Berlin ruled out using Nord Stream 2, which was permanently suspended in February 2022 when Putin moved Russian troops into eastern Ukraine.
Christiane Hoffman, a spokesperson for the German government, said that Russia has already proved that it was “no longer a reliable energy supplier” even before evidence arose “of the possible sabotage of the two pipelines.”
France sending natural gas to Germany
The news came just as France announced early on Thursday that it had begun sending natural gas to Germany in an act of “European solidarity.” The modified pipeline is capable of sending volumes of gas equivalent to up to 100 gigawatt hours per day to Germany, and is the result of an agreement hammered out between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron in September.
Germany will use some of the gas to produce electricity that can then be sent back to France, which is struggling with its own supply now that half of its nuclear reactors are out of service for maintenance or safety checks.
“It’s historic, the first time France is going to deliver gas directly to Germany - up to now we were sending it to our neighbour via Belgium,” Thierry Trouve, managing director of France’s natural gas system operator GRTgaz, told AFP.
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