Winter gas shortage in Germany has become “highly unlikely” – storage operators
Clean Energy Wire
A major gas shortage in Germany during the coming winter has become “highly unlikely,” the country’s gas storage operator association INES has said. In a review of supply scenarios for the winter 2022/2023, INES found that a shortage of natural gas is not to be expected unless the country will be hit by “extremely” low temperatures. According to recent long-term weather forecasts, however, the coming winter will rather be warmer than average, the association said. “The complete filling of gas storages has brought us in a position from where we presumably can safely make it through the coming winter,” INES head Sebastian Bleschke said. The scenarios had shown that filling the storage facilities sufficiently should also be possible for the 2023/24 winter, even if gas reserves are largely depleted during the coming winter. But capacities for renewed filling would be determined by the availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the EU’s internal market, INES cautioned. The association said filling levels and consumption across Europe should be monitored closely, as well as LNG import capacities and continued Russian gas flows to Europe through Ukraine and Turkey. “In order to avoid any bad surprises, key parameters of supply security should remain under scrutiny,” Bleschke said.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s government earlier this year set strict targets for gas storage filling levels, which had been fulfilled ahead of schedule even though the country lost its most important supply pipeline, the now damaged and defunct Nord Stream 1, in the summer. Storage units had been filled 100 percent by mid-November and the government aims to retain a filling level of 40 percent by 1 February next year.