Bavarian PM warns of ‘ice-cold winter’ due to gas shortage

(EurActiv, 5 Jul 2022) The German government is not sufficiently prepared for a phase-out of Russian gas, and there may be possible winter shortages, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder said on Monday.

“There is the threat of a huge energy emergency, a kind of gas triage, which will affect millions of jobs,” Söder, the head of the Bavarian conservatives (CSU), said in an interview with TV channel Welt on Monday.

Gas triage refers to a situation where there would not be enough gas for all households and economic sectors, meaning some industry branches would have to curb production. “There is the risk of an ice-cold winter,” he warned.

Söder criticised the Berlin government for not securing alternative energy sources quickly enough, adding there is a risk that Russia would disconnect Germany from gas supplies “bit by bit.”

“Other countries are faster,” he stressed, citing Italy, which has already struck gas deals with Qatar.

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom had recently started reducing gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, prompting Berlin to escalate its warning over gas supplies to the “alert level.”

Besides finding new gas sources, Söder also called to keep nuclear power plants running for longer than planned, while he slammed the Greens for wanting to fade out nuclear power “for ideological reasons”.

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EurActiv, 5 Jul 2022: Bavarian PM warns of ‘ice-cold winter’ due to gas shortage