Likelihood of gas shortage in Germany decreases further – storage operators
Clean Energy Wire
Germany will get through winter with its gas supply and the likelihood of a severe shortage has decreased further due to savings efforts, said the country’s gas storage operator association INES. However, extremely low temperatures could change this outlook, as much of the fuel is used for heating. “In the highly unlikely, but not entirely ruled out, event of a gas shortage, government action should be aimed at preventing the rapid depletion of storage facilities in order to secure the supply of vital needs,” INES head Sebastian Bleschke said. This could, for example, be done by lowering industry consumption. INES said that after storages had been filled to almost 100 percent of capacity in recent months, since mid-November more gas has been taken from storages than put in. January is usually the month when most gas is taken from storages. However, this depends to a large degree on temperatures. The organisation presented updated scenarios for this and the coming winter, and said that in all cases modelled it was possible to “extensively” fill storages ahead of the colder months of 2023/2024.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s government earlier this year set strict targets for gas storage filling levels, which were reached ahead of schedule, even though Russia had halted direct pipeline supplies by the end of August. Storage units had been filled to around 100 percent by mid-November, and the government aims to retain a filling level of 40 percent by 1 February next year. INES projected the target would be reached.