29 Jun 2023, 12:34
Julian Wettengel

Economy ministry plans to extend German gas storage level requirements


Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s economy ministry has proposed to extend current regulation to the extent to which gas storage facilities have to be filled at certain times of the year, said the economy ministry in a press release. Based on a report evaluating developments during the energy crisis, the government says that the rules introduced in the wake of the tense situation regarding the energy markets in 2022 “have proven their worth” as well-filled storage facilities contributed to supply security and “calmed the markets.” The ministry proposes to extend the rules by two years until 1 April 2027 and said it would introduce a legislative proposal after the parliamentary summer break. The storage facilities also continued to be an important “building block for supply security” as the construction of planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities was not yet finished, said the ministry.

At the end of winter 2021/2022, storage levels were very low (26% in March 2022) when the energy crisis escalated due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences. The government initially introduced a new law with ambitious minimum levels for gas storage by specific dates, then raised the targets even more. The extension of the regulation means storages will have to be filled 75 percent by 1 September, 85% by 1 October, 95% by 1 November, and 40% by 1 February. Currently, the filling level of German storage facilities is around 80 percent on average. The interim target for September of 75 percent was already reached at the beginning of June 2023, said the government.

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