Higher gas use in Germany’s power generation highlights obstacles to savings
Power production with natural gas increased in Germany in May and July despite political pledges to minimise the fossil fuel’s use amid the supply crunch caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, news website n-tv reports. Figures published by the German grid agency BnetzA showed a year-on-year increase during these two months, while the share of natural gas in power production slightly dropped below last year’s level in June. “The reasons for higher gas-fired power production levels are current difficulties with other energy carriers in Germany as well as in other countries that are connected with Germany’s power market,” the article said, adding that especially France’s problems with its nuclear fleet, of which about half are undergoing maintenance, are causing the country to use electricity from Germany. Low river water levels that make coal transport by boat difficult and problems with restarting coal plants in Germany are further complicating the move away from gas.
Recent figures showed that Germany’s total gas consumption dropped nearly 15 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to the year before, which to a large extent owed to warmer weather than in 2021. However, according to the economy and climate ministry (BMWK), Germany will have to reduce total gas use by about 20 percent over the entire heating period to avoid the worst effects the current gas shortage.