The Federal Network Agency calls for savings of at least 20 percent compared to previous years. This is the only way to avoid gas shortage this winter. But by early December, significantly less was saved than needed. “If it’s an outlier, we don’t have to worry about it,” Klaus Müller, head of the authority, told “Tagesspiegel”. “But it’s going to be cold for the next few days. That’s why it’s important not to give up on our conservation efforts and stick with it throughout the winter,” Müller warned. Although gas storage facilities in Germany are still full, the weather plays a decisive role, because when the temperature is low, more heat is needed and therefore more gas is consumed.
Temperature and Gas Consumption: Data updated weekly
The following graphs show how much gas was last used compared to previous years and how outside temperatures compare historically. They are updated weekly with data from the Federal Network Agency and the German Weather Service.
Current gas consumption in Germany
Weekly average temperature
5.2 percent less gas was used than the average of previous years
In the calendar week from 05.12. Average temperature is 0.2 degrees Celsius. This was 2.7 degrees cooler than the weekly average for 2018 to 2021. At the same time, gas was used 5.2 percent less for the week. According to the Federal Network Agency, accounting for the temperature effect and taking into account only gas consumers’ conservation efforts, consumption was actually 12 percent lower than the comparable period of previous years. The Federal Network Agency always considers the last two calendar weeks.
High temperature, low gas consumption
October and the first half of November were hotter than average this year. Accordingly, gas savings in industry and households were significantly higher. For example, in the last week of October, one-third less gas was used than in previous years. Only when cold weather sets in does storage drop significantly.
To assess the current situation, the Federal Network Agency takes into account five factors, which are constantly updated: gas storage levels and temperature-adjusted gas consumption, temperature forecast and the situation in neighboring countries are at play. Stock. The commission is also looking into the procurement of so-called regulated energy. This means the amount of gas needed to cover daily consumption fluctuations.
Federal Network Agency: The situation is tense
The Federal Network Agency currently classifies the gas supply in Germany as stable. Security of supply is now guaranteed. However, a worsening of the tense situation cannot be ruled out.
“At present there are no general or regional supply constraints,” writes the Association of Gas Transmission System Operators when asked by NTR. It is said that no one wants to guess whether such disturbances will occur in winter.
Reversal of flow direction: special challenge
The fact that more gas now flows from west to east as a result of the decline in Russian supplies presents particular challenges for gas network operators. Because unlike electricity, gas cannot be sent in all directions in a pipeline network at will. If flows reverse, sometimes significant technological changes are necessary. For example, the pressure in the network must be set everywhere so that the gas flows properly. For example, it may be necessary to replace the so-called compressor stations that compress the gas.
According to network operators, solutions to this challenging situation were developed as part of joint network planning processes so that there would be no regional disruptions.
Gas savings in EU countries in comparison
In a European comparison, Germany is currently in the middle of saving gas. Brussels think tank Bruegel’s energy experts compiled gas consumption data for European countries from various sources.
Overall, gas consumption in November was 23 percent lower than the monthly average for the years 2019 to 2021 among countries with existing data. In contrast to the aforementioned data from the Federal Network Agency, Bruegel mentions an average of three. Instead of four previous years.
EU member states must reduce their consumption by 15 percent between the end of August 2022 and March 2023 compared to the average of the previous five years. The EU Commission’s Gas Emergency Plan says. However, the savings plan is not mandatory.
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