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Gas, Germany activates the alarm level

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Gas, Germany activates the alarm level

MILANO – The gas situation is still at the center of the attention of the European chancelleries, after Russia has started to cut flows and the International Energy Agency has warned: “Europe is preparing for a total stop”. After the rumors of the Bloombergthe German Minister of Economy, Robert Habeck, announced the activation of the “alarm” level in its emergency plan: this is the second level, out of three, of the level of intervention. Therefore, the alert in the largest European economy rises after Gazprom closes the taps. A decision that comes right on the day when the European summit opens in Brussels, which will also have to discuss the gas price ceiling to contain the increases caused by the Ukrainian crisis.

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“Gas is now a rare commodity in Germany,” Minister Habeck told reporters. He, who is also vice-chancellor, therefore gave a sense of urgency: “We must reduce the use of gas already in the summer,” he said. Summer is “deceptive”, “but winter comes and we have to fill the deposits,” he added.

The activation of phase two takes Germany one step closer to the third and final phase which could see gas rationing in the main European economy. When will gas rationing come to Germany? “I hope never,” Habeck replied at the press conference. But he also admitted: “I cannot completely rule out such a scenario,” although the government works to avoid it. At this level of alert, the German government would have the option of passing legislation that allows companies to pass the extra costs to households and businesses, explains the Bloomberg, and the re-ignition of coal-fired plants to contain gas consumption. The next step would bring energy distribution under the umbrella of the state, with the possibility of rationing because the offer would not be able to answer the demand.

Habeck on Wednesday he explained to the German Confindustria the gravity of the situation, saying that “the gas crisis could be worse than the pandemic”. But this does not mean that he gave up the point about the farewell to nuclear power, which is dividing German politics: “The option of an extension is not there primarily for safety reasons”, explained the spokesmen of his ministry and of that of the Environment. But the reserves are also of another nature: “Cutting gas poses a problem of heat, not electricity. Nuclear power plants produce only electricity and would not make a significant contribution to solving the problem,” explained spokesman Gabriel. pile, pressed at a press conference in Berlin. Habeck instead announced last Sunday that he wanted to make more use of coal plants, and this despite the fact that he had included in the government program that Germany will give up this energy source by 2030.

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Germany, which depends on Russia for more than a third of its gas supplies, had turned on its first light at the end of March, when the object of contention with the Kremlin was payments for supplies in rubles. Now he has filled the storage for about 58%, a slightly higher level than the Italian one, but aims to reach around 90% in November like us.

Gas is also at the center of discussions at the European Council and the reference to the price cap enters the latest version of the draft conclusions. The paragraph on economic issues sees the addition which reads that the Council “in contrasting Russia’s use of gas as a weapon and recalling the conclusions of May 31, invites the Commission to pursue its efforts to ensure the affordable energy supplies “. The conclusions of the May summit invited the Commission to explore options to calm prices, including that of a temporary price cap.

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