Germany will suffer gas shortages in less than three months if Gazprom cuts off supplies to the continent this winter, warned the country’s regulator.
Even if the troubled country reaches its target of filling its storage levels to 95 per cent by November, this would only last two and a half months, argued Klaus Mueller, president of the Federal Network Agency.
He told Bloomberg: “We are a little bit faster than what we used to be in terms of filling up storage, but it is not a sign we can relax. I cannot promise you that all storage facilities in Germany will be 95 per cent full in November, even under good supply and demand conditions. In the best-case scenario, three-quarters of them will meet the target.”
Stockpiles are currently sitting at 77 per cent, two weeks ahead of schedule, however this has not stopped Germany progressing through various phases of rationing to stave off blackouts this winter.
The country is dependent on Russia for half its natural gas imports, and with Gazprom cutting Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20 per cent capacity, multiple cities including capital Berlin, Munich, and Hanover have begun energy saving measures.
This includes limits on central heating alongside turning off street lighting and ornaments such as city fountains.
The country is bracing for possible power shortages later this year, with some companies considering voluntary rationing of supplies to ensure demand can be met. this winter.
In Germany, power prices surged above €500 euros for the first time yesterday, deepening the pressure on households, business and industry amid a Russian squeeze on energy.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Kremlin has retaliated to Western sanctions on energy supplies by reducing imports,
Earlier this year, Germany’s government triggered the second stage of a three-phase emergency gas plan, which could culminate in the authorities divvying supplies to households and reducing production across domestic industry.
Meanwhile, German utility giant Uniper has suffered a €12bn loss following Gazprom’s supply cuts.
The company warned it would take until 2024 before it could return to profit.
The loss ranks among the biggest in the country’s corporate history, and highlights the severity of the crisis facing energy-intensive industries.
Last month it was bailed out by the state, which took a 30 per cent stake in the company, for €15bn.
Electricity giant RWE AG has turned to the debt market for funding, with the company overseeing €2bn of investor demand for at least three €500m three-year bonds on Wednesday, revealed Bloomberg.
It’s RWE’s first venture into Europe’s debt market since May, and reflects its plans to boost renewable investment to reduce the country’s reliance on Russian gas.
The company has also struck a deal with the German government to bring in liquefied natural gas through two new terminals to help ease the energy crunch.