Germany could be completely out of gas by February, the country’s gas agency has said, with some experts saying that the country needs to cut consumption by 30 per cent to make it through the crisis intact.
A reduction in gas consumption of up to 30 per cent may be required if Germany wants to make it through the coming winter intact, some experts have claimed, while the country’s gas agency has expressed concern that the nation could run out of hydrocarbon by February.
Despite such a warning echoing that made by the country’s economic and climate minister Robert Habeck earlier this month, the country’s Chancellor seems to have denied such a reality, telling the European Parliament earlier today that Germany is “well prepared” for the coming winter.
According to a report by Die Welt, Germany’s Federal Network Agency — the watchdog in charge of regulating gas and electricity in the country — has confirmed that there is a distinct possibility that Germany will run out of gas before the winter is out.
While such a shortage will be avoided if Germany can stick to cutting its gas use by at least 20 per cent, is able to get sufficient deliveries of liquified natural gas (LNG) and if exports remain relatively low, if one of these factors not sufficiently line up, the country could end up running out of gas by the end of February.
To make matters worse, some experts believe that this target of 20 per cent is far too low, with a reduction in gas usage of at least 30 per cent on the previous year needed in order to keep the economic and societal impact of shortages on Germany under control.
“30 per cent of the gas consumption from before the crisis must go down,” Gunnar Luderer, the deputy head of the federally funded Ariadne project that performed the research, said.
The research also notes that while industry in the country has reduced gas usage by around 20 per cent, gas consumption amongst the general public has yet to noticeably go down, indicating that Germany may yet have difficulty reaching its 20 per cent reduction goal, let alone the 30 per cent reduction some think is required.
Despite this — as well as the fact that a senior minister within the German government has already warned that the country could run out of gas in the coming months — Chancellor Olaf Scholz bragged to the European Union on Thursday that his country has now managed “free” itself from its dependence on Russian gas.
“We as a country have made sure through the measures taken in recent weeks and months that we can say with optimism [that] together we will come through this winter,” Scholz told the European Parliament between intermittent bouts of thunderous applause.
However, while the Chancellor seemed to have no problem lauding the achievements of his own government, he failed to address the currently ongoing problems being experienced in the country, which has mass-insolvencies of businesses as well as empty shelves in supermarkets as certain products as inflation renders them too expensive to produce at current prices.