Germany unveils new measures to reduce natural gas use – POLITICO


Germany announced on Sunday that it will reduce gas consumption and store as much natural gas as possible through a new set of measures, including increased use of coal-fired power plants.

“We will reduce gas consumption in the electricity sector and industry and push the filling of storage facilities. Depending on the situation, we will take additional measures,” said the German Minister of Economics and du Climat, Robert Habeck, in a press release, which describes a new “set of tools” to deal with the emergency.

“Security of supply is currently guaranteed, but the situation is serious,” said Habeck.

The announcement comes as Russia cuts gas supplies to several EU countries.

In particular, Germany will use less gas to produce electricity, replacing it with energy produced by coal-fired power stations. “That means, to be honest, more coal-fired power stations during a transition period. It’s bittersweet, but it’s almost necessary in this situation to reduce gas consumption,” noted Habeck, of the Greens. Existing coal-fired power plants will be upgraded to temporarily compensate for the decline in energy production from gas-fired power plants.

Other measures include a “gas auction model” to encourage industries to save gas. The scheme, due to launch this summer, will reward companies that reduce their gas consumption in bottleneck situations.

Russian Gazprom announced on Wednesday a reduction in gas supply via the Nord Stream gas pipeline to 67 million cubic meters per day from 167 million cubic meters per day. Habeck called the decision a “political decision”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Kyiv on Thursday alongside Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and Italian Mario Draghi to show their support for Ukraine.


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