Germany is in the second phase of a three-stage emergency plan to reduce its dependence on Russian gas due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The regulator says Germans should save gas as they face potential problems for a couple of years
The regulator says Germans should save gas as they face potential problems for a couple of years (Reuters)

Germany is likely to miss a November target for gas storage levels set by the government to avoid an energy crisis, the head of the Bundesnetzagentur energy regulator has told German media outlet t-online, warning the country faced two tough winters.

Germany is in the second phase of a three-stage emergency plan to reduce its dependence on Russian gas due to the conflict in Ukraine. 

Russia has drastically cut flows to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline since mid-June and is currently supplying only 20 percent of agreed volumes, blaming technical issues. Europe says the move has been politically motivated.

It has already hit its first target for gas storage facilities to be 75 percent full by September 1. The next goals are for storage levels to be at 85 percent by October 1 and 95 percent by November 1.

"I don't expect we will achieve the next storage targets as quickly as the first one," Klaus Mueller, head of the Bundesnetzagentur, told t-online.

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Reaching the 85 percent target is "not impossible, but very ambitious", especially by October 1 if heating is already being used, said Mueller.

"In all our scenarios, we will miss an average filling level of 95 percent from November 1. We will barely be able to do that because individual storage systems have started from a very low level," he said.

Mueller said Germans should save gas as they face potential problems for a couple of years.

"It's not just about one winter, it's about at least two and the next winter could be even tougher," he said, adding local gas shortages over the winter were likely.

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Source: Reuters