BERLIN (AA) - Germany may not meet its gas-saving targets due to the colder than average temperatures, local media reported on Monday.
The German government’s goal of filling the gas storage facilities to 95% by Nov. 1 is now in jeopardy, the news site Business Insider reported.
According to a Deutsche Bank report published by the news site, German households have to reduce gas consumption by at least 20% to get through the winter without shortages.
But the households have already increased their consumption in September compared to the last year, experts told the news site.
If German households reduce their gas consumption by 15%, the country will likely avoid shortages until early March, according to the experts.
But if the consumption drops by only 10%, gas storage facilities will be empty in February, experts said.
“I am not at all happy about the figures for private consumption, which skyrockets right at the start of the cold season,” Klaus Muller, the head of the Federal Network Agency, told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Muller added that with the current consumption figures, he did not see Germany getting through winter without a gas shortage.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the price of natural gas, there are energy-saving campaigns, and yet consumption is going steeply upward,” Muller said.
The Federal Network Agency, based in Bonn, is an upper German federal authority. It decides whether to ration gas in the event of a shortage.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, is facing the biggest energy crisis ever, due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Russia halted gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline earlier this month, in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war on Kyiv. Nord Stream 2 pipeline was suspended in February by the German government, in response to Russia’s threats against Ukraine.
Following explosions last week on the Nord Stream pipelines, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said gas will no longer be supplied from Russia “for the foreseeable future.”
The government introduced a package of energy-saving measures to decrease consumption and fill up gas storage facilities to be prepared for winter.
Before the war in Ukraine, Russia was supplying 55% of Germany’s natural gas, but the government managed to reduce that reliance to 26% at the end of June, according to official figures.