Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to take additional measures to save gas and increase precautions in view of lower Russian gas supplies. The aim is to reduce the use of gas for power generation and industry and to promote the filling of storage facilities. The federal government is providing billions in funds for this, as the German Press Agency learned from government circles. In addition, more coal-fired power plants are to be used.
The situation is serious, Habeck is quoted as saying in a five-page paper that was available to the German Press Agency. “Gas consumption must continue to fall, so more gas must be stored in storage, otherwise things will get really tight in winter.”
The Russian state-owned company Gazprom had significantly reduced the flow of gas through the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline in the past few days. This was justified with delays in the repair of compressor turbines by Siemens Energy. Habeck classified the measure as politically motivated.
The tense situation and the high prices are a direct consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, according to the Green politician. “It’s obviously Putin’s strategy to unsettle us, drive up prices and divide us.”
The missing quantities could still be replaced, and the gas storage tanks were still being filled, albeit at high prices. The security of supply is currently guaranteed. According to Habeck, gas consumption in the electricity sector and in industry should now be reduced and the storage tanks should be filled. “Depending on the situation, we will take further measures.”
Specifically, it is about the following plans: In order to secure the storage of gas, the federal government will soon provide an additional credit line through the state bank KfW in the amount of 15 billion euros, according to government circles. This loan has therefore been discussed with the Ministry of Finance. The budget committee should be informed in the coming week.
Habeck is also planning a gas auction model for the summer. This is intended to give industrial gas consumers incentives to save gas. In essence, it is about industrial customers who can do without gas reduce their consumption for a fee that is financed via the market – and make the gas available so that it can be stored.