Germany is facing the risk of gas shortages in the coming years if it fails to invest in additional fuel infrastructure, according to a warning from the INES group of gas storage operators. The group, which represents gas storage facilities in Germany, has highlighted the potential for shortages during the heating season, when storage is traditionally used. Despite stockpiles currently being almost 90% full and “developing positively,” the country remains vulnerable to a cold winter that could threaten its energy security.
Sebastian Bleschke, head of INES, stated, “The danger of gas shortages during cold temperatures remains and will continue to accompany us until winter of 2026/2027 unless further infrastructure measures are taken.” The group has indicated that if the upcoming winter is cold, storage facilities could run dry by the end of January 2024. To avoid a potential crisis, INES has recommended the installation of additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, expansion of storage capacity, and the establishment of new pipeline connections.
This warning comes as Germany continues to recover from the impact of reduced Russian energy supplies last year. Prior to 2022, Germany relied on Russia for 40% of its gas demand. However, deliveries were severely affected after the European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine. These sanctions led to significant curtailment or complete cessation of gas deliveries from Russia to Germany.
Germany has taken steps to mitigate its dependence on Russian gas by building up its storage capacity, reducing consumption, and constructing LNG terminals. However, concerns persist over the potential for a new gas crisis as the heating season approaches. It is evident that additional infrastructure measures are necessary to ensure the country’s energy security and prevent future shortages.
To address this issue, the INES group emphasizes the need for LNG terminals, which would enable Germany to diversify its gas supply sources. Currently, the country heavily relies on pipeline imports from Russia and other European countries. Expanding storage capacity would provide Germany with greater flexibility and resilience during times of increased demand. Moreover, establishing new pipeline connections would enhance the country’s ability to access gas from a variety of sources.
The German government and energy industry must take these warnings seriously and prioritize investment in the necessary infrastructure to safeguard the country’s energy supply. Failure to do so could result in severe shortages during winters with extreme cold temperatures. The potential consequences of such shortages include increased domestic energy prices, disruptions to industrial production, and a heightened risk of economic downturn.
Germany, as the largest economy in the European Union, plays a crucial role in driving economic growth and stability in the region. Therefore, ensuring a secure and stable energy supply is not only vital for the country but also for the wider European energy market. By addressing the risk of gas shortages proactively, Germany can contribute to a more resilient and reliable energy landscape in Europe.
In conclusion, Germany faces the risk of gas shortages in the near future unless it invests in additional fuel infrastructure. The INES group of gas storage operators has warned about the potential for shortages during the heating season, particularly if a cold winter occurs. To mitigate this risk, the group recommends the installation of LNG terminals, expansion of storage capacity, and the establishment of new pipeline connections. It is crucial that Germany takes these warnings seriously and prioritizes the necessary infrastructure investments to secure its energy supply and prevent future shortages.