Energy industry “fairly optimistic” for upcoming winter gas supply one year after Russian delivery halt
Clean Energy Wire
Germany can be “fairly optimistic” regarding its gas supply in winter 2023/2024, said energy industry association BDEW, one year after Russia ended its pipeline supply to the country on 31 August. “Thanks to the good interaction between the energy industry and politics, it was possible to secure the energy supply at all times last year, even without Russian gas supplies,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. “The European internal energy market also made a decisive contribution to this,” she added. Germany had very quickly set up contracts with new supplier countries, filled its storage facilities, and built up a domestic import infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in record-time. These measures successfully placed German gas supply “on a new foundation”. However, the country was “not out of the woods yet” as the next winter approaches. While well-filled storage facilities (currently at 93 percent) give some security, this “is no guarantee that we will get through this winter well,” said Andreae, who called on all consumers – businesses and households – to continue to save electricity and gas.
Europe's energy and security architecture has gone through momentous changes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. Germany and other European nations have largely made themselves independent of Russian energy imports. This process was particularly difficult for Germany, which originally planned to rely heavily on imported Russian gas in its transition towards a climate neutral economy. The war has triggered a rapid reorientation by diversifying fossil fuel imports via LNG deliveries, prolonging running times for coal and nuclear power plants, and sparking a fast and determined expansion of renewable power sources.