Russian gas producer Gazprom cut deliveries to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline last week due to delays in equipment sent for an overhaul to Siemens, he said. Siemens reported that it sent the turbines to a factory in Canada which in turn blocked their return as it imposed sanctions on Gazprom over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Germany has found that it receives 60 percent less gas from Russia, and the economy minister has outlined several measures that should compensate for Gazprom's reduced deliveries. Habeck wants to reduce gas consumption in electricity production and industry and give priority to filling storage for the winter.
Instead of gas-fired power plants, more electricity should be produced in coal-fired power plants, he suggests.
The document has five pages, here is what is being prepared
In a five-page document, the economy minister points out that "gas consumption must be further reduced, and more gas must be directed to storage facilities because there will not be enough of it this winter."
Habeck also proposed measures to reduce gas consumption in households, citing the introduction of limits on its use for heating. Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the dpa that he was against discussing "individual measures" until a comprehensive plan was drawn up.
The government is also planning an additional credit line of 15 billion euros through the state development bank KfW, sources for dpa claim. Habeck also plans to introduce gas sales at auctions this summer to encourage consumers in the industry to save.
The plan is for industrial consumers who are not in dire need of gas to reduce its consumption, for a fee, and make it available for stockpiling. The Free Democrats (FDP), which together with the Social Democrats and the Greens form the ruling coalition, are calling for a review of the ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of extracting shale gas by injecting liquids with chemicals under high pressure.
"Scientific studies show that, by modern safety standards, fracturing does not cause significant damage to the environment," FDP parliamentary faction chief Torsten Herbst told the Sunday edition of Die Welt. Those who import it from the US cannot oppose the promotion of safe fracturing in Germany, Herbst believes.
Speaking in Flensburg, the economy minister said the government would soon present citizens with answers to important questions. "The country is hard hit by high inflation, spurred by the prices of energy produced from fossil sources," Habeck said.
“We have more options to minimize those prices,” he argued. "But the question is fairness," that is, how to provide enough support to businesses and enough energy to households, he explained. Due to the sharp rise in prices, the government recently introduced measures that should reduce the prices of gasoline and public transport. The Chancellor and the Minister of Economy are asking for such support to be extended.