Gas supplies from Russia have played a significant role in supporting the growth of Germany’s industry, according to Michael Lewis, the new CEO of Uniper, a major utility company in the country. In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Lewis acknowledged that ties with Russia had been successful for Germany, with cheap gas from Russia contributing to the development of German industry.
However, the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia caused a reduction or halt in supplies of Russian gas and oil to Germany. This led Uniper to diversify its gas profile and seek alternative sources of energy. Lewis stated that the company plans to further diversify its portfolio by turning to the US, the Middle East, Australia, and Azerbaijan. This shift aims to reduce dependence on Russian gas and ensure a stable energy supply for Germany in the future.
Lewis also highlighted the improvements made in Germany’s preparation for the upcoming cold season compared to the previous year. Gas storage facilities are more full, and the country has built liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, such as the one in Wilhelmshaven. Additionally, the demand for natural gas has decreased, further enhancing Germany’s readiness for the winter season. However, Lewis emphasized that the success of Germany’s energy supply will depend on demand and weather conditions.
Looking ahead, Uniper plans to invest over €8 billion in green energy by 2030, aiming to achieve zero-carbon-dioxide emissions by 2040. The company also has ambitions to phase out the use of coal for electric power generation by as soon as 2029. Lewis stressed the importance of a gradual energy transition, acknowledging that Germany will still need gas for at least the next 15 years.
The article points to Germany’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas and diversify its energy sources. This strategy aligns with the broader European push for energy security and independence. The conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions have highlighted the vulnerability of energy supply chains and the need for diversification. While Russia has been a significant supplier of gas to Germany, the country is now actively seeking alternative sources and investing in renewable energy to achieve long-term sustainability and decrease emissions.
With the energy landscape rapidly evolving, it is essential for countries to prioritize energy security and explore various sources to meet their growing demand. Germany’s focus on diversification demonstrates a commitment to ensuring a stable and sustainable energy supply for its industry and population.