Germany plans to compensate for the disruption to Russian gas supplies by increasing the burning of coal – the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions.
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Germany said the deteriorating gas market situation means Europe’s largest economy should limit the use of natural gas to produce electricity and burn more coal for a “transition period”.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned on Sunday that the situation would be “really tight in the winter” without precautionary measures to prevent supply shortages.
As a result, Germany will seek to compensate for the disruption to Russian gas supplies by increasing the burning of coal – the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions, and thus the most important substitution target in the shift towards renewable alternatives.
“This is bitter, but in this case it is almost necessary to reduce gas consumption. We must and will do everything in our power to store as much gas as possible in the summer and autumn,” Habeck of the Green Party said in a statement. Translation.
“Gas storage tanks should be full in winter. This is a top priority,” he added.
This comes shortly after ominous warning From Russia’s state-backed energy giant Gazprom, it has exacerbated fears of a complete disruption of supplies in the European Union.
Gazprom said last week it had another limited supply via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
“The tense situation and high prices are a direct result of Putin’s aggressive war on Ukraine,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.
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Gazprom cited a technical problem in cutting supplies, saying the problem stemmed from delays in returning equipment served by German energy company Siemens in Canada.
Habek rejected that claim, saying the move was politically motivated and designed to destabilize the region and increase gas prices.
It is not yet known when or whether Nord Stream 1 gas flows will return to normal levels.
In fiery comments likely to set alarm bells ringing across European capitals, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Thursday that Russia would play by its own rules after the company halved supplies to Germany.
“Our product, our rules. We don’t play by rules we didn’t create,” Miller said during a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to the Moscow Times.
Italy, Austria and Slovakia also reported a decrease in supply from Russia.
Policymakers in Europe are currently scrambling to fill the underground storage with natural gas supplies to provide households with enough fuel to keep lights and homes warm before the cold returns.
The European Union, which receives nearly 40% of its gas through the Russian pipeline, has been trying to rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons in response to the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine for months.
“The tense situation and high prices are a direct result of Putin’s aggressive war against Ukraine. There is nothing wrong. What’s more, Putin’s strategy is clearly annoying us, raising prices and dividing us. We will not allow this. We defend ourselves firmly, meticulously and deeply,” said Habek.
Habeck said that the capacity of storage facilities in Germany is currently around 56%, which is up from storage levels in the same period last year.
He added, “The lost quantities can still be compensated, and the gas tanks are still full, albeit at high prices. The security of supply is currently guaranteed, but the situation is dangerous.”