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Germany to Restart Coal-fired Power Plants as Russia Cuts Gas Supplies

  • Germany plans to restart coal-fired power plants after Russia cut down gas supplies
  • The country intends to fill its gas storage facilities up to 90% by December 2022
  • These measures are intended to reduce Germany’s reliance on Russian gas and shift gas deliveries to storage facilities

Germany unveiled measures to conserve natural gas after Russia cut down gas supplies to Europe. The country plans to restart coal-fired power plants and will provide incentives to companies for reducing their consumption of natural gas. The measures are intended to reduce Germany’s reliance on Russian gas, and shift gas deliveries to storage facilities to ensure sufficient reserves to meet the needs during winter. The country aims at filling its gas storage facilities up to 90% by December 2022. Currently, the gas storage facilities in Germany are 56% full.

Germany’s Dependence on Imports

According to BGR (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources), Germany is one of the largest importers of natural gas, and 95% of its gas consumption is met by imports. In 2020, Germany imported 90% of the gas it consumed, primarily from Russia, Norway, and the Netherlands. The industrial sector consumes the most amount of gas, followed by private households, public power, and heating. The major portion of the gas is used to generate heat, with only a small portion being used to generate electricity. Losing a significant portion of gas imports could necessitate a short-term increase in coal-fired production domestically or import of power from neighbors to cover the shortfall.

What Alternatives Does Germany Have?

The German government made plans to purchase gas from non-Russian sources and is accelerating the development of a liquefied natural gas facility in the North Sea. In recent months, the EU sought alternative sources of gas supplies such as the US, Qatar, Azerbaijan, and Japan, as tensions with Russia escalated. While the decision to restart coal-fired power plants will open an alternative source of energy, it will delay Germany’s attempts to reduce carbon emissions.

 

 

 

 

 



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