Germany may be unable to avoid a gas emergency this winter if all consumers don’t significantly cut consumption in Europe’s biggest economy, according to Klaus Müller, the president of the Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur.
“The situation may become very serious if we do not significantly reduce our gas consumption,” Müller told Reuters on Thursday, adding that households, industry, and businesses need to cut consumption by at least 20%. According to the regulator, German households and small businesses used nearly 10% more gas than the four-year average for that week.
The agency, the regulator to impose rationing in case of severe shortages, published on Thursday its weekly report on gas supply and demand in Germany. The data showed that gas consumption rose in the latest reporting week by 10% to 618-gigawatt hours per week (GWh/week) from 483 GWh/week in the previous week, and was above the average for the same week between 2018 and 2021.
The agency once again called on all consumers to conserve gas, as it “emphasizes the importance” of savings.
This week’s appeal for gas conservation comes after a similar appeal last week when the agency said that Germany’s gas consumption rose too much - to levels higher than in previous years, and without considerable gas conservation, Europe’s biggest economy will find it challenging to avoid gas shortages this winter.
“Without significant savings, also in the private sector, it will be difficult to avoid a gas shortage in the winter,” the agency’s president Klaus Müller said last week.
Gas storage sites are more than 92% full, the regulator said today, but warned that gas price fluctuations are huge. Despite the recent drop in gas prices, businesses and households “will have to continue to prepare for very high gas prices,” the agency added.
If the coming winter is colder than usual, Germany could see severe nationwide gas shortages, which it will not be able to predict more than two weeks in advance, Müller said in September.
“I can’t give an exact forecast of where the risk of a shortage is the greatest,” Müller told German business daily Handelsblatt in mid-September.
“If we get a very cold winter, we have a problem.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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