Sufficient preparations will get Germany through winter despite Russian gas cut-off - Scholz
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The preparations for a collapse of gas trading with Russia have advanced enough to get Germany through the coming winter, chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. “We are prepared and will, in all likelihood, be able to make it through this winter,” Scholz told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview. “Nobody had expected us to be able to say that just some time ago,” he added. The Social Democrat (SPD) said that when he entered office in December 2021, there were “no plans” left behind from the outgoing government on how to deal with a cut-off from Russian gas supply. Scholz was vice chancellor and finance minister in the previous government under Angela Merkel before becoming chancellor himself. However, since that time, his government had revamped the gas storage law and reached new storage targets ahead of schedule, launched the construction of alternative gas import infrastructure and greenlighted the re-commissioning of coal plants to avert an energy supply shortage. The additional decision to keep two of the remaining nuclear plants in an emergency reserve would bring further safeguards for the power system, even though “the exit from nuclear energy remains in place” in principle. In the medium- to long-run, renewables and hydrogen production would take over as the energy system’s main carriers, with the goal of reaching a power consumption share of renewables of 80 percent by 2030 remaining unchanged.
The war against Ukraine is shaking the foundation of Europe's energy and security architecture, as a decade-old reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports is set to come to an end. A possible full halt to gas deliveries from Russia means that Germany could face supply bottlenecks, which would lead to rationing of remaining supply. However, in recent days, the government has said that the country should be prepared to get through the coming winter.