Germany Just Forewarned Its Citizens About An Impending Energy Crisis Next Winter

Although Germany avoided an energy crisis this year, Klaus Mueller, the chairman of Germany's Federal Network Agency, warned that the next heating season would be more challenging in an interview with the Rheinische Post that was published on Saturday.

The country's gas storage facilities are currently 64% full, according to Mueller, so even if it gets cold in the upcoming weeks, Germany's energy supply will be sufficient to last the rest of the heating season. But he cautioned, "We shouldn't let up, as things can change next winter."

"A gas shortage for the upcoming winter cannot be ruled out. Danger considerations include a particularly cold winter in 2023–2024, inadequate savings by individuals and businesses, and a failure of the LNG facilities. Also, we would have to assist our neighboring nations with their energy issues, according to Mueller. Due to the unusually mild weather over the previous few months, Germany has mainly avoided energy shortages. However, according to Mueller, the weather will be the largest risk during the upcoming heating season.

We can't assume that next winter will be mild like this one was. Some families put their savings on hold when it gets cold. Almost 20% of gas was saved in October's mild temperatures, but just 7% was conserved during December's deep freeze.

The absence of Russia's energy sources, which allowed the nation to fill up storage tanks in advance of the heating season last year, was also mentioned as a risk factor by the official. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, one of the primary routes for Russian gas to Europe, was disrupted by sabotage during sanctions connected to the Ukraine and later. Despite the EU not outright forbidding Russian pipeline gas imports, their flows dramatically decreased afterward. As a result, Germany is no longer directly supplied with Russian gas, and as a result, Mueller predicts that energy prices will no longer be as cheap as they were previously.

The fate of Russia's residual gas resources is unknown. The era of cheap Russian energy is unquestionably ended, so we must adjust to rising pricing, he said.

Due to the favorable winter weather, gas costs have remained quite low throughout. Late last summer, wholesale gas prices, which had risen to almost €300 per megawatt hour, plunged to a level of about €50 in March. Mueller said that although it is significantly higher than the price of natural gas in the beginning of 2021, it is "the new normal" and urged people to keep up their energy-saving efforts to prevent further price increases.

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