German winter gas supply outlook positive, EU coordination on LNG imports key – industry
Clean Energy Wire
Germany will likely avoid a gas shortage in the winter of 2023/24, but reliable liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are key to preventing bottlenecks, the Bavarian industry association vbw said in a gas balance monitoring report. “A consistently high utilisation of the German LNG terminals is not a foregone conclusion. Above all, we must hold our own against rising demand on the world market,” association head Bertram Brossardt said. He called for coordinated LNG purchases by EU states, as this could strengthen negotiating positions. Lower LNG purchases by China – historically one of its main buyers – may become a boon for Germany’s supply of the fossil fuel in the coming winter season, business daily Handelsblatt recently reported.
Households and industrial customers in Germany significantly reduced their energy consumption during the winter 2022/2023, helping to avert a much-feared supply shortage during the energy crisis driven by Russia’s war on Ukraine. While Germany quickly found new sources for natural gas after imports from Russia fell away, efficiency and saving measures further contributed to avoiding a shortage. Comparatively mild weather in early 2023 was a decisive factor as to why the country’s energy security was not compromised during the previous winter. International Energy Agency (IEA) head Fatih Birol has repeatedly warned that securing gas for the winter of 2023/24 could be harder than during the previous season.