© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pipes are pictured at a gas compressor station in Mallnow, Germany, November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is currently not at risk of a gas emergency that would include rationing, the head of its energy regulator said, but he said that households and industry needed to keep up savings efforts in light of the current cold spell.
“We are a long, long way from that,” Klaus Mueller, president of the Bundesnetzagentur, told broadcaster ZDF, pointing to Germany’s gas storage levels, which stand at 92.45%. That compares to 87.34% for the European Union.
“We can easily cope with one, two, three weeks when it gets cold and consumption goes up. But it must not continue like this in January and February, and we have to look ahead to the next winter, 2023/2024,” he said.
Germany must save at least 20% in gas consumption and storage levels should not fall below 40% by Feb. 1 to avoid shortages, the regulator has said.
“October and November were warm and we have been good and careful with gas consumption. December could be one of the coldest in the last 10 years and most recently we even lost a whole percentage point of gas storage on Monday.”
Mueller said that level of depletion should remain an outlier.
“Therefore, despite the cold, my request: be careful with your gas consumption.”