The president of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), Klaus Mueller, is concerned about the complete cessation of Russian gas supplies and calls on the people of Germany to save energy. – At the moment, the main question is whether the upcoming periodic maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will turn into a longer political maintenance – he said
“Limit consumption to an absolute minimum.” Germany has a serious gas problem
The German government has called on companies and households to keep gas consumption to an absolute minimum. This is the effect of Russia restricting supplies …
– If the gas supply from Russia is reduced for a longer period for political reasons, we will have to talk more seriously about energy conservation. The twelve weeks that remain until the start of the heating season in Germany will have to be used for the correct preparations, Klaus Mueller reports.
He called on all home and apartment owners to quickly and thoroughly check and properly adjust all gas boilers, stoves and heaters. “Their maintenance can reduce gas consumption by 10 to 15 percent,” he emphasized. “It has to happen now and not in the fall,” he added.
To solve the bottlenecks in times of installer visits, Klaus Mueller called on them to focus on repairing and adjusting heating and hot water equipment. In addition, families should already be talking about “whether every room should be set to the usual temperature in winter, or whether it should be a little cooler in some rooms this time.”
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Minister Habeck’s fears
Economy Minister Robert Habeck suggested on Thursday that he fears a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. As he said, there is a serious threat of “blocking Nord Stream 1 as a whole” from July 11. Therefore, in winter, the situation can become really problematic. At the same time, the politician of the Greens assured that the gas supply was guaranteed in the summer period.
The annual maintenance work on Nord Stream 1, which usually takes ten days, will start on 11 July. During this time, no gas flows through the gas line. At the moment it is of great concern that Russia no longer turns on the tap after maintenance on the pipeline.
According to Klaus Mueller, if gas supplies to Germany are interrupted, private households, hospitals and nursing homes will be especially protected. “I can promise you that we will do everything we can to prevent private households from running out of gas,” the federal economy minister promised.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve learned not to make promises if we’re not completely sure we can deliver on them,” said the head of the BNetzA. However, he admitted that the Federal Network Agency “does not have a scenario for actions in the event that Germany does not receive any gas at all”.
– If industrial installations have to be separated from the gas supply, we will be guided by business damage, economic damage, social consequences, as well as the technical requirements for operating the gas network, explained Klaus Mueller.
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Meanwhile, the Norwegian government has announced that it will not be able to supply more gas to Germany until 2024.
– Norwegian companies are currently analyzing projects that will allow them to increase gas supplies in 2024 and 2025 – Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland said in an interview with Wirtschaftswoche. – The current crisis in the energy sector has long-term consequences. We need to focus on investing in new gas production capacity, he added.
‘Norwegian companies have never exported so much natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf as they do now’, explains Terje Aasland. As he assured at the time: “We support our European friends so that they can become independent from Russian oil and natural gas as soon as possible.”
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The troubles of Hamburg
In the event of a gas shortage, Hamburg environmental senator Jens Kerstan (the Greens) has announced a reduction in the amount of hot water for private households. “In emergencies, hot water could only be supplied at certain times of the day,” he told Welt am Sonntag. There is also the possibility of “a general reduction of the maximum room temperature in the district heating network”.
For technical reasons, it will not always be possible to distinguish between commercial and private customers in Hamburg when there is no gas, emphasizes Jens Kerstan. “However, if we fail to save enough gas in large enterprises, we could face supply constraints, which could affect individual districts,” he added.
The Hamburg environment senator also announced that a possible temporary liquefied natural gas terminal in Hamburg will be operational no earlier than the middle of next year. – In July we will know if the temporary LNG terminal in Hamburg is possible and in which location – he said. The gas could probably be diverted there from May 2023.
The full results of the location analysis will be available in October. Economics Minister Robert Habeck said the first two temporary LNG terminals in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel should be launched around the turn of the year 2022/2023. – As a federal government, we have leased four floating LNG terminals and this is where our priorities are at the moment – explains Robert Habeck.