The EU gas emergency plan has come into force. In winter, 15 percent of natural gas should be saved voluntarily. The consequences are now being debated.
- Ukraine war: Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have already been drastically reduced.
- Gas emergency plan: The countries of EU have agreed to reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent.
- energy crisis: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Green) appeals to Germany to save gas.
+++ 3:57 p.m.: Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) is calling for the states to have more say in distribution in view of a possible gas shortage. At the moment, if the situation worsens, responsibility lies with the Federal Network Agency. “It can’t be that alone, it has to be accompanied politically.” From his point of view, the internal knowledge of the countries about chains and strategic dependencies of the economy plays an important role.
Federal Network Agency boss Klaus Müller said on Tuesday in the ZDF morning magazine that he believes that the federal states are sufficiently involved in the development of the emergency plans. You were involved in the gas crisis team right from the start, and the network agency is happy to accept suggestions and criticism, said Müller. Transparency is important, but action must be taken quickly in crisis situations.
Energy crisis: IG Metall warns of the consequences of gas savings
+++ 1.35 p.m.: With a view to the colder season, IG Metall warns of very specific consequences of possible gas savings for employees. These must be protected against health risks at low temperatures at the workplace, said board member Hans-Jürgen Urban. “Lowering the room temperature below the minimum limit of 20 degrees in office work would increase the risk of infection and colds in the company, which would lead to more days lost and increased costs for the company.”
Proper preparation for a possible gas shortage is still being discussed in Germany. Several federal states insist on having more say in the creation of emergency plans. The debate about the gas levy is also continuing. The corresponding ordinance for the levy came into force on Tuesday. Starting in the autumn, it will lead to price increases for gas customers and enable gas suppliers to pass on additional costs to consumers.
Gas emergency plan in force: Germany must drastically reduce gas consumption
First report, August 9th: BRUSSELS – The EU’s gas contingency plan to prepare for a possible halt to Russian natural gas supplies has come into effect. After its publication in the Official Journal of the EU on Monday (8 August), the plan came into effect on Tuesday. The regulation calls for voluntary natural gas savings of 15 percent per country from early August to March next year, compared to the average for the past five years of this period.
Against the background of the war in Ukraine, Russia has already drastically reduced its supplies to the EU. According to figures from the EU Commission, a total of 45 billion cubic meters of gas must be saved. Germany would have to use about 10 billion cubic meters less gas to reach the 15 percent target.
Energy crisis: Germany will probably have to save significantly more gas
How the 27 EU countries lower their demand is up to them. The regulation provides for numerous exceptions for states and “critical sectors of the economy” such as the food industry. It is unclear whether the planned savings target of a total of 45 billion cubic meters of gas can be achieved.
The exceptions mean that Germany is expected to save significantly more gas this winter than other countries in order to prevent massive problems for the industry or even a recession in the event of a possible Russian gas supply stop. That was what Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) said after the agreement on the gas emergency plan at the end of July in Brussels.
If not enough is saved and there are far-reaching supply bottlenecks, the next step can be to trigger an EU-wide alarm with binding savings targets. However, the hurdle for this is high: the approval of at least 15 EU countries, which together make up at least 65 percent of the total population of the Union, would be necessary. At the same time, several countries – such as Spain and Italy – have negotiated exceptions to the mandatory savings targets for this case and want to save less than 15 percent. The emergency plan is initially valid for one year. (hg/dpa/AFP)
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