Germany: Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck Urges Citizens To Save “Every Kilowatt Hour” OF Energy After Russia’s Gazprom Cuts Gas Supply By 40%

Snapshot
  • Germany’s vice-chancellor Robert Habeck has again urged citizens to save energy after Russian’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom announced this week that gas flows from Russia to Germany through the key pipeline Nord Stream would be reduced by about 40 percent.

    Habeck termed Gapzrom’s decision “political,” as no technical or legal reason for the delay could be found. Habeck had issued a warning in May that Russia would “weaponise” its fossil fuel resources.

Germany’s vice-chancellor Robert Habeck has again urged citizens to save energy after Russian’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom announced this week that gas flows from Russia to Germany through the key pipeline Nord Stream would be reduced by about 40 percent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doing what was to be feared from the beginning: He is reducing the volume of gas, not in one go but step by step,” Habeck said in a video posted by his ministry on Twitter on Wednesday (Jun 15) night.

Habeck, who is also serves as the economy minister, launched a campaign last week urging people to save energy. After the Gazprom announcements, he reiterated the message in Wednesday night’s video.

Habeck termed Gapzrom’s decision “political,” as no technical or legal reason for the delay could be found. Habeck had issued a warning in May that Russia would “weaponise” its fossil fuel resources.

Habeck praised the willingness of Germans and business to save energy and store gas. German energy authorities also assured that storage facilities were significantly fuller than in previous years.

“Now is the time to do so,” he said. “Every kilowatt hour helps in this situation. It is a situation that is serious, but not a situation that endangers supply security in Germany.”

Gazprom had blamed German engineering giant Siemens for failing to restore key turbines “on time”. Gazprom deploys Siemens’ turbines at Nord Stream’s Portovaya compressor station on Russia’s Baltic Sea coast to maintain the necessary pressure in the system to pump gas. Siemens has withdrawn its services and maintenance support for Russia to comply with European sanctions against the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Natural gas accounted for nearly 27 percent of Germany’s total energy consumption in 2021, mostly for heating and industry purposes and to a much lower extent (around 15%) for electricity production. Germany managed to quickly reduce its dependence on Russian gas since the invasion, from around 55 percent in February to around 35 in May 2022. However, it still faces the significant challenge of replacing the remaining share with alternative sources.