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Germany saved less gas than targeted in the second half of January, Klaus Müller, the president of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, said on Friday.
During the fourth week of the year, German households and businesses again saved too little gas, with industry reducing consumption by 8% and households by 9%, Müller said on Twitter.
The German regulator has targeted savings of 20% of gas this winter.
Last week, gas consumption increased by 8.2% compared to the previous week. Adjusted for the colder temperatures in the past week, Germany’s consumption was 14% lower than the average for the years 2018 to 2021, Müller added.
Still, Germany’s gas in storage levels are well above the targets and the five-year average for this time of the year, which helps inventory levels for the next winter, the head of the German regulator said.
In an update as of February 2, the regulator said that “The gas supply in Germany is stable. The security of supply is safeguarded. Overall, the Bundesnetzagentur views the situation as less tense than at the beginning of the winter.”
Governments in Europe, including in the biggest economy, Germany, are now more comfortable with the gas supply situation, especially after the warm start to the heating season and a warm start to January. The unseasonably warm weather has prevented massive drawdowns from gas inventories and has sent the benchmark EU gas prices lower in recent weeks.
According to the German regulator, “It is unlikely that there will be a gas deficit situation this winter. At the same time, preparing for the 2023-2024 winter is a key challenge. It is therefore still important to save gas.”
Early on Friday, the benchmark European gas price at the Dutch TTF hub had dropped to $61.60 (56.40 euros) per megawatt hour (MWh), per Refinitiv Eikon data cited by Reuters, due to strong wind power generation.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.