Energy crisis has become manageable, can be overcome by 2024 - German minister

(Clean Energy Wire, 16 Jan 2023) The German energy crisis has not ended yet, but has become “manageable” to a point where the government is confident it could be overcome for good by 2024, economy and climate minister Robert Habeck told an audience at business newspaper Handelsblatt’s energy summit 2023.

“We’ve nearly surmounted the main challenge arising in 2022,” Habeck said with reference to the gas supply shortage resulting from Russia’s war on Ukraine. With storages more than 90 percent full in mid-January, two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in operation and a third one about to be commissioned, Germany managed to avoid the “very real” risk of a “meltdown” in the industrial sector that many companies rightfully feared throughout last year, Habeck said.

“For the 2023/2024 winter, we also have more than justified hopes that gas storages will be full at the beginning of winter,” Habeck said, adding that the recent price decreases could be sustained. However, beyond the immediate challenges of the energy crisis, the “structural challenge” of decarbonising a modern industrialised economy without a loss of prosperity remained unchanged, Habeck stressed. The necessary reactivation of coal plants to stabilise the energy system in the short term amounted to a “climate sin” that should end as quickly as possible, ideally no later than 2024. But an uninterrupted availability of gas for power production is a prerequisite, the minister added.

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Clean Energy Wire, 16 Jan 2023: Energy crisis has become manageable, can be overcome by 2024 - German minister