Germany is going to have to wave the white flag if it wants to get through the winter. And winter is coming.
Germany’s natural gas reserves are not enough to see the country through next winter without purchasing additional Russian gas, the top official in charge of electricity and gas networks has told the media.
In an interview with Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, published on Sunday, Klaus Muller warned that while “gas reservoirs are nearly 65% full,” and “it’s better than in the previous weeks” it is still not sufficient to “go through the winter without Russian gas.”
Muller, who is president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, added that much now depends on whether maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline concludes as expected on Thursday.
When asked how long it would take before energy prices for consumers in Germany are further raised, in case of a complete stoppage of Russian gas deliveries, Muller said no decision has yet been made. However, he offered reassurances, noting that “there hasn’t been any significant price surge this week, even though the Nord Stream 1 was shut off.” The official suggested this may be a sign that “markets have already internalized the loss of Russian gas supplies and we’ve reached a gas-price-plateau.”
The energy regulator president insisted that Germans “shouldn’t succumb to panic,” assuring that “private households have the least reason of all to worry,” and will be provided with gas far longer than industry.
Keep in mind that this situation is without Russia taking any aggressive or punitive steps to intentionally reduce Europe’s energy needs or otherwise harm the European economies. I expect that situation will change following the next Russian ultimatum.