The flow of gas makes Germany wary of Russia 4

The flow of gas makes Germany wary of Russia 4

Germany is increasingly dependent on gas supplies from Russia, making it difficult for Berlin and Europe to take tough measures against Moscow in the Ukraine crisis.

The decision to phase out nuclear power and reduce reliance on coal to limit CO2 emissions means Germany is more dependent on Russian gas than most of its European neighbors.

This year, Germany’s last three nuclear power plants will close, in a context where Germans are facing the highest electricity prices among developed countries.

With a steady supply of cheap gas from Russia for decades, German governments have never had to bother building the infrastructure to import more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US or Qatar.

All of these factors have converged to make Germany the largest buyer of Russian gas.

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Leningrad region, Russia in July 2021.

The rate of Russian gas imports is likely to increase in the near future, as Germany has fewer and fewer alternative energy sources.

`The decision to phase out nuclear and coal at the same time has left Germany completely dependent on Russian gas and vulnerable if Russia uses energy as a tool of pressure,` said Gustav Gressel, policy fellow.

Officials in the administration of Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, leader of the Social Democratic Party that has traditionally supported relations with Russia, have hinted that they will freeze Nord Stream 2 if Russia makes military moves against Ukraine.

But Prime Minister Scholz did not publicly make any such commitment, despite calls from Washington and its allies.

Although the Kremlin has recently been reported to have cut gas supplies to Eastern European countries to exert political pressure, it has never done the same with Germany, according to Erich Vad, a retired German general and former security adviser.

However, this is changing.

The majority of Russian gas shipments to Europe are transported via pipelines through Ukraine, some dating back to the Soviet era.

`We have been warning about this scenario for many years and now it is happening,` he said.

Gazprom controls several major European gas storage facilities scattered across Germany.

`If Russia launches a military operation in Ukraine, it will show how dependent we are on Russian gas and how vulnerable we will be if Moscow weaponizes gas,` Constanze Stelzenm├╝ller,

German energy prices have skyrocketed due to Europe’s gas shortage.

Germany has invested heavily in renewable energy, but the process of phasing out fossil fuels has been slow and uneven.

`Gas from Russia is irreplaceable in the near term,` said Markus Krebber, CEO of RWEAG, one of Germany’s largest electricity companies.

The flow of gas makes Germany wary of Russia

German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Germany in November 2021.

Even Germany’s energy infrastructure is largely built to serve the need to import gas from Russia.

Merkel’s government pledged to subsidize the project and drafted a law to force gas infrastructure companies to build future terminals.

Meanwhile, gas imports from the Netherlands continue to decline, as output in the country declines when many believe that overexploitation of gas will cause earthquakes.

In a 2015 study on the possibility of sudden gas supply cuts from Russia, the authors found that German gas storage facilities would have to be filled to at least 60% to meet domestic demand.

Germany is therefore facing an energy dilemma as it needs to balance environmental factors, social impacts and security.

`We underestimated the security part. Many German policymakers want to believe that Russia will continue to be a reliable gas supplier, as it has been for decades. But

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *