Germans no longer fear a cold winter without Russian gas: the situation has changed dramatically in a year

Oleksandr LytvynNews
Germans no longer fear a cold winter without Russian gas: the situation has changed dramatically in a year

Polls show that the mood in Germany has changed. Only 14% of respondents believe that Germany will face serious energy supply problems this winter. Although a year ago, Germans were afraid of being left without Russian natural gas.

According to DW, 82% of Germans do not fear serious heating problems. At the same time, 64% of respondents assume that there will be no major problems, although they admit that the situation in this area is still difficult. And 18% are confident that the situation has already completely defused and that the country will go through the winter heating season smoothly. Only 4% found it difficult to answer.

Thus, "four out of five respondents believe that Germany is well prepared for the upcoming winter," concluded the Federal Association of Energy and Water Companies (BDEW), which commissioned this representative survey.

Germany has the largest underground gas storage capacity in the European Union. They also assumed that the capacity of LNG terminals in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium used to supply the German market would be utilized by 50% and 90% at peak times, and that gas savings in Germany due to cold weather would be only 10% of the average consumption in 2018-2021.

Based on these initial data, six scenarios were modeled. The following options were considered: Russia stops supplying gas to the southeast of the EU via Ukrainian routes from November 2023; Germany has to increase gas exports from its underground storage facilities to the countries of Southeast Europe; due to the growth of its own consumption in cold weather, Germany's western neighbors reduce the volume of supplies to the German market from their LNG terminals.

As a result, mathematical models have shown that the complete emptying of German UGS facilities by early February 2024 and a temporary gas shortage threaten Germany even if Ukrainian transit is completely stopped only in two cases: if Germany does not save gas but increases exports, and if these two conditions are compounded by a reduction in imports of regasified liquefied gas from neighboring countries.

As OBOZ.UA previously wrote, the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine will stop at the end of 2024. That is when the contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom expires, and there are no plans to extend it.

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