It’s starting to get cooler in Germany as we head into autumn. As many people consider if and when they should put on their central heating, it has emerged that gas storage facilities in Germany are in good shape – even though Russia has suspended gas deliveries through the Nord Stream I pipeline since the end of August.
Storage facilities reached a fill level of 90.07 percent on Sunday, data shows.
According to German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, this means that the country has a good chance of getting through winter without gas shortages – despite the lack of Russian supplies.
However, certain conditions must be met for this to happen, Habeck said on Tuesday. He said businesses and people in Germany still have to do their best to cut down on consumption in order to save energy. And he said a lot depends on the weather.
As The Local reported, last week Klaus Müller – head of the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) – said that a very cold winter in Germany could spark gas shortage issues.
Müller tweeted on Tuesday: “With 90.07 percent gas storage filling, Germany has reached another milestone. The stored gas increases our security of supply, helps manage gas emergencies and flows back into the market. Still, we need to keep saving (on gas).”
Mit 90,07 % #Gasspeicher-Befüllung hat 🇩🇪 einen weiteren Meilenstein geschafft. Das eingespeicherte #Gas erhöht unsere #Versorgungssicherheit, hilft beim Management von Gasnotlagen & fließt in den Markt zurück. Trotzdem müssen wir weiter einsparen. @bnetza https://t.co/N7gIa4igzc
— Klaus Müller (@Klaus_Mueller) September 19, 2022
Habeck said that in winter, gas from the storage facilities should be made available. “But that also means that the storage facilities will then be empty again at the end of the winter, in this case really empty,” he said.
In that case, he said Germany will have to quickly fill up reserves again.
Target for 95 percent full by November
The German government’s next target is to have storage facilities at 95 percent full by early November. This amount of gas is roughly the equivalent of Germany-wide consumption in the first two months of 2022.
The interim targets of 75 percent and 85 percent were reached earlier than planned in mid-August and early September.
Gas storage facilities serve as a buffer for the gas market and are intended to compensate for fluctuations in gas consumption.
As a rule, they are well filled at the start of the heating season in autumn. On particularly cold days in winter, up to 60 percent of gas consumption is covered by storage facilities.
To better cope with a potential total loss of Russian supplies in winter, the German government wants to use various measures to achieve the highest possible filling levels at the start of the cold season. Germany currently receives natural gas via pipelines from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. At the turn of the year, the first two terminals for landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) are due to go into operation on the German North Sea coast.
According to operators, the EU’s gas storage facilities are on average just under 86 percent full. Throughout the EU, the regulation has been in force since spring for storage facilities to be 80 percent full by November 1st – a goal that was already achieved at the end of August.