Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck once again emphasized the difficult situation for Germany in view of the shrinking gas flows from Russia. “I don’t want to beat around the bush: it’s a tense, serious situation,” said the Greens politician on Sunday evening on ZDF’s “heute journal”. “It was always clear that we were heavily dependent on gas.”
Habeck was also confident that the supply could be secured for the coming winter. “It is crucial that the gas storage tanks are full by winter – and that they are 90 percent.”
At the moment it is 57 percent – the difference has to be made up through purchases and thrift. If the memory is full, this is enough for about two and a half months – without any further sources. However, it is planned that Germany will continue to purchase gas from abroad in winter – even if there is no more flow from Russia.
It was “a kind of arm wrestling” in which Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin initially had the longer arm. “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t get the stronger arm through exertion,” said Habeck.
Habeck had previously stated that he did not believe in natural gas production in Germany through so-called fracking. He therefore rejected an advance by the FDP.
“The debate about fracking is of no use to us at all at this time. It takes years, if you want to do it at all, to open up such deposits,” he said in Flensburg on Sunday.
Fracking uses pressure and chemicals to extract gas or oil from rock layers, which poses environmental hazards. Criticism is also leveled at liquefaction through strong cooling because, according to environmentalists, this costs up to 25 percent of the energy content of the gas.
The “bridge made of gas” to the world of renewable energies is getting shorter every day, said Habeck. The deposits that could be fracked have not even been tested yet. “There’s no interest in doing that,” Habeck said.
In this respect, it is a debate that leads to a division in society. “We have a clear task: reduce the amount of energy that we consume, at all levels.” In addition, the expansion of renewable energies must be accelerated.
In view of the energy crisis, the FDP wants to put the ban on natural gas production in Germany through so-called fracking to the test. “As scientific studies show, fracking does not cause any relevant environmental damage under modern safety standards,” Torsten Herbst, parliamentary director of the FDP, told the “Welt am Sonntag”.
Anyone who imports fracking gas from the USA cannot be against safe fracking funding in Germany. “It should therefore be seriously examined whether larger shale gas production is economically and technically feasible in Germany,” he said.
In view of the lower Russian gas deliveries, Habeck had announced additional measures to save gas and increase precautions. With regard to the further sharp rise in energy prices, he announced that the federal government would “soon to answer”. “High inflation, driven by fossil fuels, is weighing heavily on the country.”
“We have various options for cushioning these prices,” said Habeck. “But the question of justice naturally arises immediately and will certainly have to be discussed further: How do we keep the companies on the market? What support do we have to give and how do we support households that of course depend on their apartment or house being warm during the heating period, but perhaps cannot easily pay the high prices? We will soon provide answers to that.”