Germany details plan to wean off Russian gas by 2024
Date: August 2nd 2022
Germany has detailed plans to be mostly independent of Russian gas by 2024 by replacing 50-60% of the gas deliveries with LNG next year, the climate and economy ministry said on Tuesday. - High prices curb German energy use in H1 .
In a letter to an MP with the leftist party Die Linke, the ministry said that additional LNG imports via neighbouring countries alone should already replace 20-30% of Russian imports compared to 2021.
Last year, Germany imported 46bcm – or roughly 511 TWh of gas from Russia, accounting for roughly 55% of its total net gas imports, according to the ministry. A 20-30% cut would mean 9.2-13.8bcm less Russian gas this year, and a 50-60% cut would amount to 23-27.6bcm less gas next year.
Many EU countries like Germany are scrambling to find alternatives to Russian supply in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and Western sanctions targeting the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom has suspended deliveries to several EU member states and slashed flows through the 55bcm/year Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to just 20%.
The crisis has prompted EU members to voluntarily reduce 15% of gas use between August and March, while Germany is already at the second of three energy emergency alert levels and is urging everyone to save energy where possible to ensure sufficient supply this winter.
New LNG storage terminals
Together with utilities RWE and Uniper, the German government has chartered four floating storage and regasification units to import LNG directly.
The four units each will all have an average annual import capacity of 5bcm, with the peak reaching 7.5bcm, said the ministry.
Two of the four units are scheduled to be operational by the turn of the year, and the other two by the end of 2023.
In addition, there is privately financed project for another floating storage facility – at the Baltic Sea port Lubmin – scheduled to launch in December and another unit at Wilhelmshaven with a possible launch date in 2023.
High prices curb German energy use in H1
Germany’s primary energy consumption fell 3.5% year on year in the first half of 2022 to 1,653 TWh amid high energy prices, mild weather and economic slowdown, German statistics group Ageb said on Tuesday.
Excluding the impact of mild weather, energy demand would have fallen just 0.5% over the period, a statement said.
European gas prices have surged amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and a worsening supply crisis, with the Dutch TTF front-month contract more than doubling since the start of the year to last trade near EUR 208/MWh.
Germany’s gas consumption tumbled 15% to 449 TWh in January-June, largely due to soaring prices.
Conversely, hard coal demand jumped 9% to 152 TWh, with coal-fired power generation increasing 26%, according to the data.
Lignite demand likewise rose 11% to 160 TWh but was still 5% lower than the same period in 2019, continuing a long-term downtrend.
As a result of more lignite and hard coal production along with the shutdown of 4 GW of nuclear capacity late last year, energy-related carbon emissions rose 1% from the previous year.
Meanwhile, total renewable consumption increased 5% to 302 TWh aided by strong wind output, which was 18% higher than in the first half of 2021.
By 2030, the government aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 65% from 1990 levels and increase the share of renewables in the power mix to 80%.
This article is available also in Slovene.