Germany issues energy warning

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Natural gas reserves will last less than three months if Russia cuts off supply, the regulator said

Germany’s energy regulator has warned that the nation will struggle to have enough natural gas to get through the coming winter, even if reserves are topped up in line with government targets, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The Federal Network Agency says natural gas storage sites are currently 77% full, which is two weeks ahead of schedule. However, according to the regulator, the target of being 85% full by October could be challenging, taking into account the risk of a cooler-than-normal autumn and the chance of further supply disruptions.

It further noted that the November target of 95% seems “hard to achieve” because some storage sites require more time to fill. Even if that target is reached it would cover less than three months of heating, industrial and power demand in case Russia cuts off gas supplies completely, the FNA warned.

“I cannot promise you that all storage facilities in Germany will be 95% full in November, even under good supply and demand conditions,” said FNA president Klaus Mueller. “In the best-case scenario, three-fourths of them will meet the target.” 

The German government, which has been racing to fill its winter stocks, has also urged businesses and citizens to lower consumption, warned of energy rationing and this week slapped a levy on gas use.

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