Economy on the energy crisis: Grimm warns of increasing gas consumption

Status: 01/28/2023 11:50 a.m

Gas prices are falling – and consumption could rise as a result, warns Grimm. It is important to continue to save gas in order to “keep a buffer” until the coming winter. The federal government should provide incentives for this.

Economics Veronika Grimm warns of gas shortages due to increasing consumption. Grimm told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that it was “easy to imagine” that the industry in particular would consume significantly more gas again because of the fall in wholesale prices. That would be “connected with dangers in the current situation”. Until the coming winter, the top priority must be “to keep a buffer in order to be able to react to a tighter supply situation.”

Under certain circumstances, the federal government must also set incentives so that gas continues to be saved, said the energy expert, who is a member of the Advisory Council. With the end of the corona lockdown in China, demand is also coming back from there.

The coming winter will “definitely be challenging”. It can only be expected from 2024 that the capacities for importing liquid gas will be sufficient to ease the situation. The prices would, however, even then “level off at a higher level than before the crisis”.

More than four billion euros for emergency aid

The federal government has already spent 4.3 billion euros on the so-called December emergency aid to relieve gas and district heating customers. The Federal Ministry of Economics explained that this dampened “the increase in energy prices for consumers”. Since the start of the application period in mid-November, around 3,590 applications for reimbursement or advance payments have been received from energy suppliers, of which 3,212 have already been processed. Households and smaller companies should benefit from the emergency aid.

Levels in gas storage tanks continue to fall

Apparently, the winter weather made it difficult to save gas last week: According to the Federal Network Agency, gas consumption in the third calendar week was 9.4 percent below the average consumption for the years 2018 to 2021. In the week before, the decline was mainly due to significant higher temperatures, however, was still 34 percent.

In the third calendar week, “due to the temperature, we save (too) little gas,” wrote the President of the Authority, Klaus Müller, on Twitter. “Despite well-stocked gas storage facilities and important new LNG terminals, we need 20 percent savings for the winter of 23/24,” Müller continued.

In the German gas storage facilities, the filling levels fell by more than one percentage point on Thursday for the second day in a row, according to data from the European gas storage association GIE. On Wednesday morning, the fill level was 83.8 percent. For comparison: on January 24, a year ago, the fill level was 37.8 percent. The largest German storage facility in Rehden, Lower Saxony, recently recorded a filling level of 90.3 percent. The filling levels in Germany have been falling overall since January 9th.

source site