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Germany goes on alert level in the face of the drying up of Russian gas | War in Ukraine


We are in a gas crisis. Gas is now a scarce resourceEconomy Minister Robert Habeck said at a press conference.

This is the second stage of the device on the supply of German gas, activated last March following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In this context, the government may sustain market players to cope with high prices.

Ten European Union countries have activated the first level of gas supply alert following cuts in supplies from Russia, Frans Timmermans, the bloc’s climate policy chief, said on Thursday. – Reuters

The third and final stage of this plan based on a European Union model, the level of urgencywould allow Berlin to organize rationing in order to distribute the volumes between individuals, administrations and industry.

I hope that will never be the casereacted the Minister about this nightmarish scenario for the first European economy, whose industrial groups, and in particular the powerful chemical sector, consume immense quantities of gas.

Germany is thus reacting to the 60% drop since last week in deliveries via Nord Stream, the Russian group Gazprom arguing that there is a maintenance problem for the gas pipeline.

But for the German government, this is a political decisionof a economic attack intended to weigh in the standoff between Moscow and the Western countries.

This decision had a heavy impact on several European countries, in particular Germany, Italy and France. Sweden passed this week in level of early warning on the gas.

A crisis

For Berlin, which continues to import 35% of its gas from Russia, against 55% before the war, the situation is serious.

We are going through a gas crisisunderlined Mr. Habeck, who multiplies the calls to save this resource as well at the private individuals as in the economic sector.

At the moment, reserves in Germany are at 58%, a level higher than the average of recent years.

But if deliveries via Nord Stream remain at a low levelthe filling of the tanks for the winter is not guaranteed.

Everything is going well right now, but that should not make us forget that as things stand, everything could go wrong in the future. »

A quote from Robert Habeck, German Minister of Economy

According to the assessments of the Federal Network Agency, without a limitation of gas exports, which is difficult to defend on a European level, Germany will not achieve this objective.

Gas shortage in 2023?

If nothing changes, a gas shortage could start as early as February 2023. In the event of a total stoppage of deliveries by Moscow, it could happen as early as mid-december.

These are not the first emergency measures taken by Germany.

The government of Olaf Scholz, with ambitious climate objectives, has already caused a sensation by announcing an increased use of coal to save gas, which represented 15% of the electricity produced in 2021.

The nuclear debate, which former Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to abandon after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, has also been revived, even if the ruling coalition is fiercely opposed to it.

The last three reactors in the country will be shut down at the end of the year. Their extension could create a breathing spacesaid Thursday Veronika Grimm, a member of the influential wise economics, who advise the government.

Berlin also announced the opening of a credit line of 15 billion euros via the public bank KfW to finance the purchase of gas, whose prices have soared, by the actor responsible for purchases for Germany , Trading Hub Europe.

Robert Habeck has also affirmed that the government monitors the rise in gas prices, and does not rule out resorting to a price regulation mechanism.

The objective is to avoid a scenario at the Lehman Brothers which would see suppliers stop buying gas that has become too expensive and therefore stop delivering it to customers, according to the minister.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine at the end of February, Berlin has also been looking for new sources of supply, notably American or Qatari liquefied gas.

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