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14 May 2024, 13:26
Jack McGovan

German facilities filled to above average gas levels as storage period begins

Gas

Clean Energy Wire / Bloomberg

Thanks to very warm temperatures in the 2023/2024 winter, gas storage levels at the start of May were significantly higher than the historical average, said the association of storage system operators INES. Levels stood at 67 percent as of 1 May, and the association expects gas storage facilities to be completely full before the coming winter. “By looking at the INES gas scenarios and considering the experience from last year, we’re able to say that it’s possible for gas storage facilities to be filled to 100 percent this year too,” INES head Sebastian Heinermann said.

With Germany importing a net amount of 779 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of gas in 2023, gas storage is used to meet only part of the overall demand at any given time in winter, when the country needs most gas due to heating demand. Following the halt of gas deliveries from Russia in 2022 in the aftermath of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany scrambled to find alternative sources to avoid a gas shortage in winter. Norway has now become the top provider of gas for the EU, supplying 30 percent, reported Bloomberg. In Germany this is even higher, with monthly Norwegian supplies reaching a share between 33 percent in January 2023 and 48.5 percent in May 2024.

Germany set strict targets for storage filling levels at certain dates throughout a year. The country’s gas storage facilities continued to fill up even after the start of the heating season in October 2023, containing more gas than ever before.

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