Berlin’s energy authority has cautioned that further gas consumption reductions from businesses and households are required as Germany is a risk of a winter energy shortage.
Klaus Müller, chairman of the Federal Network Agency, Germany’s power crisis “isn’t finished” and a lot depends on whether or not the upcoming winter will be colder than the current one, according to the Financial Times.
He told the Financial Times that there was still a risk of a gas shortage.
“A lot hinges on whether we maintain our gas consumption restrictions and make sure Germany receives a variety of supply. And there are dangers,” he continued.
These included China’s economic recovery, which was accelerating “more quickly than many predicted”, leading to a higher demand for gas that will have “consequences in terms of price”.
The winter of 2023-24 will also be the first Germany has experienced “without any Russian pipeline gas at all”, while the global supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) “is not expected to increase significantly this year or next”.
Müller’s comments echo those of Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, who warned last month that Europe had not yet won its energy war with Russia, despite a big drop in gas prices.
“Being overconfident for next winter is risky,” Birol told the FT, adding that Europe could not afford to lose focus on conservation or developing renewable energy.
Germany has been one of the biggest casualties of the turmoil in European energy markets sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Before the invasion, 55% of its gas came from Russia.
Those supplies virtually disappeared in the months after the fighting erupted, triggering a rush for alternatives.