Head of the Federal Network Agency: Russia wants to drive up gas prices

Berlin/BonnPoliticians and economists have introduced bonuses for consumers as an incentive to save energy in view of severely curtailed gas supplies from Russia.

These should apply to households that use gas sparingly. FDP faction leader Christian Dürr spoke out against an obligation to save energy. The head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, sees a clear strategy in Russia’s throttling of gas supplies.

Müller told the German Press Agency on Saturday: “For days now, Russia has been delivering significantly less gas to Germany and Europe. That should unsettle us and drive up prices. That is why the federal government is organizing additional liquid gas and the Gas Storage Act is taking effect. Saving gas and storing it for the winter is now the order of the day.”

dpa/Oliver Berg

Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency, speaks of a “tense” situation with regard to gas deliveries from Russia.

curtailment of gas supplies

The Russian state-owned company Gazprom had reduced the flow of gas through the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline in the past few days. This was justified with delays in the repair of compressor turbines. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had classified the throttling as politically motivated.

Russia is waging a war of aggression against Ukraine. The federal government is trying to reduce Germany’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russia as quickly as possible.

Netzagentur: Gas supply situation remains “tense”

On Saturday, the Federal Network Agency again described the gas supply situation in Germany as “tense”. The gas supply is stable at the moment, according to a report. The security of supply is currently guaranteed.

On Friday, the network agency described the gas supply situation as “tense” in its daily report for the first time since the end of March. The Russian energy company Gazprom had previously throttled the gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 40 percent of the maximum capacity.

According to the Federal Network Agency, the companies affected by the lack of deliveries could currently procure these quantities elsewhere on the market. Wholesale prices have risen noticeably as a result of the reduced supply and have recently leveled off at a higher level. Gas can still be stored. The current storage levels in Germany are around 56.7 percent.

Gas consumption: “Economy” proposes bonuses for economical households

The debate over the consequences of cut supplies by Russia continues. The “Wirtschaftswise” Veronika Grimm spoke out in favor of bonuses for households that use gas sparingly. “You could check that relatively easily by comparing the gas bills, and people would be able to prepare for the winter now – according to their possibilities,” said the member of the Advisory Council for the assessment of the overall economic development of the “Rheinische Post”.

The potential is great, but you have to communicate early on that it’s worth it, said the economist. “Before resorting to statutory savings measures, as brought into play by Economics Minister Robert Habeck, one should leverage the potential that is possible through incentives,” said Grimm. Without drastic energy savings, the lower gas supplies would leave a clear economic mark on Germany.

Economics Minister Habeck does not rule out legal measures to save energy as a consequence of reduced gas supplies from Russia.

The energy policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Nina Scheer, is in favor of an energy saving discount for private households. “We can all make a big contribution to saving energy. Energy saving should therefore be rewarded,” said Scheer of the “Rheinische Post”. Anyone who manages to save on gas consumption should be relieved directly. The higher the savings in consumption, the higher the discount.

Ensure secure energy supply

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr told the dpa that it was the federal government’s top priority to ensure a secure energy supply. Under no circumstances should there be rationing. He thinks nothing of an obligation to save energy. “But the careful use of scarce resources, which most citizens have already developed independently, is of course always sensible.”

The chairwoman of the German trade union federation, Yasmin Fahimi, told the dpa: “Putin is trying to corner us with the gradual stop to gas deliveries. The prospect of a carefree, warm winter is dwindling. In this emergency situation we will feel all cuts. Social hardship must be avoided in all legal obligations.”

Industry President: Back to coal energy

Industry President Siegfried Russwurm called for temporarily relying more on coal energy. “My appeal is: stop gas-fired power generation now and get the coal-fired power plants out of the reserve immediately,” Russwurm told the newspapers of the Funke media group. It is about short-term bridging measures to secure the energy supply.

The federal cabinet had passed a draft law that would allow coal-fired power plants to return to the market at short notice in the event of a gas shortage in order to be able to significantly reduce gas consumption in power generation.

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