Germany's BMWK Announced The Gas Emergency Plan On Alert
GERMANY - Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) has announced the second stage of the gas emergency plan, or alert stage, according to the ministry, putting the gas emergency plan 'on alert'.
(based on translation) The ministry says that the security of supply is currently 'guaranteed', however, the situation is 'tense'. It said that the emergency plan has three levels, with the third level being the "emergency level".
The reason they gave for declaring the alert level is that gas supplies have been cut by Russia since June 14th, 2022 resulting in a continued high price level on the gas market.
The ministry stated that the gas storage facilities are "58 percent more full" than last year, but if Russian gas deliveries from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline remain at the low level of 40 percent, a storage level of 90 percent by November "can hardly be achieved" without additional measures.
BMWK says that calculations prepared by the Federal Network Agency (included in the attachment in the German language) show that 90 percent won't be achieved by the month of November.
The statement from BMWK said that "This means that there is currently a disruption in the gas supply, which is leading to a significant deterioration in the gas supply situation" which makes the declaration of the alert level necessary.
The Federal Minister for Economics and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck said that "Even if gas quantities can currently still be procured on the market and are still being stored: The situation is serious and winter will come. We mustn't delude ourselves: cutting gas supplies is an economic attack on us by Putin. It is clearly Putin's strategy to create insecurity, drive up prices and divide us as a society".
"We defend ourselves against this. But it will be a rocky road that we as a country now have to walk. Even if you don't really feel it yet: we are in a gas crisis. Gas is now a scarce commodity. Prices are already high and we must brace ourselves for further increases. This will affect industrial production and become a major burden for many consumers. It's an external shock".
"As the federal government, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the consequences and maintain the security of supply. Filling the gas holders is now the top priority. We take care of alternative gas supplies and are working hard to build the necessary infrastructure. We are accelerating the expansion of renewable energies in an unprecedented way. It will be a national effort. But we can overcome them in solidarity with each other - federal, state, and local governments, citizens, companies, and civil society".
"Saving energy is the order of the day for the next few months. All consumers - in industry, in public institutions, and in private households - should reduce their gas consumption as much as possible so that we can get through the winter. As a government, we are promoting energy efficiency and are also implementing energy-saving measures in our ministry" the minister added.
On June 19th, it was announced that the German government will be calling additional coal-fired power plants out of standby in order to reduce gas consumption in power generation.
"We are bringing coal-fired power plants onto the market and reducing the amount of gas. That's painful, coal-fired power plants are simply poisoning the climate. But we have to do it for a transitional period to save gas and get through the winter," Habeck stated.
The minister also said "As the federal government, we will do our part to relieve the burden on people who earn little. We won't be able to absorb everything, but where every cent already has to be counted twice and the fear of the next heating bill is avoided, we have to help. Therefore, we in the federal government will discuss further relief measures."
BMWK stated that "However, even with the current status quo, it is crucial to significantly reduce domestic gas consumption so that our own security of supply, as well as that of our neighboring countries, is guaranteed".