Berlin to launch ‘painful’ gas saving scheme to secure next winter’s supply

(EurActiv, 20 Jun 2022) Faced with low gas flows from Russia, the German government will burn more coal in summer, pay the industry not to use gas and provide billions of euros in loans to merchants for gas purchasing.

Few countries are as reliant on Russian gas as Germany. The EU’s largest net importer of the Kremlin’s gaseous fossil fuel has been shaken by repeated supply reductions as Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom cited technical issues related to sanctions. Flows through the key  Nord Stream 1 pipeline were down to 40% of the usual as of 16 June.

“The situation is serious. We are therefore further strengthening precautionary measures and taking additional steps to reduce gas consumption,” said Robert Habeck, minister for economy and climate action, in a written statement on Sunday (19 June).

“Gas consumption must continue to fall, but more gas must be put into the storage facilities. Otherwise, it will be really tight in winter. We will now take the next steps,” he added.

Habeck is introducing a new set of measures aimed at reducing demand from industry, demand from electricity production and providing gas traders with state loans to allow for additional gas purchasing.

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EurActiv, 20 Jun 2022: Berlin to launch ‘painful’ gas saving scheme to secure next winter’s supply