German Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck expressed concern over the looming energy crisis this winter, telling German media that the situation was extremely tense and there is a possibility that Germany may run out of gas.
Habeck spoke on Friday, appealing to Germans to reduce their consumption of natural gas ahead of this winter a day after the German government launched a new price break programme to help Germans with the rising costs of energy.
The new price break policy will cover 80 per cent of regular consumption in a bid to try and get Germans to use less gas and make the scenario of shortages less likely.
“For the upper 20 per cent of normal consumption, you will certainly have to pay the full bill,” Habeck told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Radio, Reuters reports.
Habeck added that Germany was facing an “extremely tense situation” ahead of the winter and added: “If we don’t save, if households don’t reduce consumption, we still risk not having enough gas in the winter.”
The appeal to Germans comes after Habeck claimed last week that German gas storage was at 90 per cent capacity and stated that Germany should get through the winter months “comfortably”.
“If everything goes well, savings in Germany are high and if we have a bit of luck with the weather, we will have a chance at getting through the winter comfortably,” he said.
“That means, however, that the storage facilities will be empty again at the end of the winter — in this case really empty, because we are going to use the gas,” he added.
Last week’s words came prior to the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines which, in the case of Nord Stream 1, previously delivered large amounts of gas directly from Russia to Germany.
It is unclear whether or not the pipelines can be fixed at all. Some have warned that if immediate action is not taken saltwater could destroy the insides of the pipes themselves.