The chancellor says Berlin has taken abundant precautions to cope with the energy crisis
Germany can cope with the current energy crisis, and is ready to deal with a potential Russian natural gas shutdown, the Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday.
“We live in serious times… But we are prepared. Prepared, for example, for Russia to largely cut off gas supplies because of the war against Ukraine,” Scholz said in a video address.
“We have set up terminals on the north German coast to import liquefied natural gas. We have been saving gas. We are once again using the production capabilities of coal-fired power plants. At the beginning of next year we will have the opportunity to use the remaining southern German nuclear power plants if that is necessary… We have put together a comprehensive aid package to support those who cannot easily cope with such challenges financially,” the chancellor said.
The EU gas crisis has intensified since last week, when Russia halted gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline “indefinitely.” Russian supplies are continuing via Ukraine, but at a fraction of the pre-conflict level.
In Germany, fuel shortages have raised concerns of a potential wave of bankruptcies among energy providers. Earlier this week, the CEO of German gas importer Uniper, Klaus-Dieter Maubach, warned that the country may have to introduce gas rationing over the winter. According to Goldman Sachs estimates, energy rationing could mean that the country would lose 65% of its industry.
According to official data, Germany’s national gas storage facilities are currently 85% full. However, Klaus Mueller, president of Germany’s energy regulator, warned last month that even 95% storage is only enough for two months of average usage.
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