‘The situation is serious’: Germany plans to fire up coal plants as Russia throttles gas supplies – CNBC
Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the European Continent’s largest economy must limit the use of natural gas for electricity production and burn more coal for a “transitional period” to prevent a supply shortage.
Russia’s state-backed energy giant Gazprom has further limited supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Russia would play by its own rules and not play by those created by others.
Policymakers in Europe scramble to fill underground storage with natural gas supplies to keep households warm before the cold returns. They are trying to reduce their reliance on Russian natural gas rapidly. Some 56% of Germany’s power comes via Russian natural gas.
Germany’s storage facilities are currently at around 56% capacity, above the storage levels in the same period last year, Habeck said. This gives Germany some but a limited runway to fill the void left by the spillover effect of sanctions on Russia.
One Shortage Leads To Another
The Polish government has announced measures to subsidize coal for households and housing cooperatives amid shortages and soaring prices. The price of a ton of coal in Poland can reach up to 3000 zlotys ($671).
Poland banned Russian coal imports in April and secured imports of 8 million tons of coal from Colombia, Australia, and South Africa.
Poland is the European Union’s most coal-dependent country. Environmental campaigners have warned that the country’s energy transition is not going fast enough and that the government has wasted many opportunities to help households increase their energy efficiency.
The problem is when every country that burns coal scrambles to secure ‘non-Russian’ supply, prices follow that excess demand higher.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Germany sticks to 2030 coal exit target amid energy worries – ABC News
- ‘The situation is serious’: Germany plans to fire up coal plants as Russia throttles gas supplies – New York Times
- Dutch Government Activates ‘Early Warning’ Because of Russian Cutbacks on Gas – Reuters
- Dutch government activates energy crisis plan to produce 2.8 bcm Groningen gas