The prices for natural gas continue to rise.
Consumers have to reckon with significant additional expenses for heating costs - and possibly with cold heating.
Frankfurt - On the way to climate neutrality, heating systems also play a major role.
The energy transition is one of the key issues in the 2021 federal election *.
But renewable energies are still far from available enough to meet the population's heating needs.
Rather, every second household in Germany heats with natural gas.
This could soon become a financial problem for consumers.
Because the price of natural gas is increasing relentlessly.
Natural gas prices have been soaring for months
Wholesale prices for natural gas have been skyrocketing for months.
In many places, consumers are already feeling this.
According to the comparison portals Verivox and Check24, numerous regional gas providers have announced price increases for the autumn.
Verivox has determined an average increase of 12.6 percent, according to Check24 calculations it is 11.5 percent.
For an average household, this leads to additional costs of 188 euros or 172 euros per year.
The price for natural gas rose by a good 44 percent, as the Federal Statistical Office reported in its survey on producer prices on Monday.
On the spot markets, where gas is traded at short notice, the prices for natural gas have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, reports the dpa.
There are many reasons for the increase in heating costs
There are many reasons for the increase.
For example, the storage facilities in Germany are only less than two-thirds full, as can be seen on the operator's data platform.
A year ago the level was a good 94 percent.
Even in most of the previous years, according to the dpa, the storage tanks were significantly better filled before the start of the heating season than they are now.
The coronavirus * also has its share in the price increases.
After the economy got back on its feet, global demand has normalized again, explains Fabian Huneke from the consulting firm Energy Brainpool.
This is especially true for Asia.
The local demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) also influences the price level in Europe on the closely interlinked natural gas markets.
Natural gas storage is not as full as usual
In addition, failures and maintenance work on the gas infrastructure in Europe would have resulted “that the gas storage facilities could not be filled as much as usual over the summer,” says Eren Çam from the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne.
The Essen-based energy group RWE also refers to the phasing out of natural gas production in the Netherlands.
And of course politics somehow also has its finger in the game.
Oliver Krischer, vice-parliamentary group of the Greens in the Bundestag, even speaks of a situation “with potential for blackmail”.
The background: The storage facilities of the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom in Europe are almost empty.
According to Krischer, this should have been brought about deliberately with a view to the approval process for the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2.
Several MEPs share his suspicion, and the Kremlin in Moscow rejects the allegations.
Deliberately brought about price development for natural gas?
Russia rejects allegations
The EU will receive everything that has been agreed according to the contracts, the company said to the Interfax agency.
Attempts are also being made to meet the additional needs, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov.
Nevertheless, Krischer paints a gloomy picture for the upcoming winter.
“If it gets really cold in February, important storage facilities are empty and Nord Stream 2 has not been commissioned, regional bottlenecks can occur.
Then apartments stay cold and gas power plants have to be switched off, ”fears the Green politician.
Price explosion for natural gas: currently "no risk of a supply gap"
The storage industry association also warns.
"If the gas storage tanks are not sufficiently filled, gas supply interruptions can occur at times of high demand," says Managing Director Sebastian Bleschke.
At the moment, however, there is no risk of a supply gap.
There is no all-clear for consumers when it comes to prices. On the contrary: "We expect a bigger wave of gas prices this autumn," says Verivox energy expert Thorsten Storck. According to Check24 managing director Steffen Suttner, this is “not least due to the rising CO2 tax”. The CO2 price in transport and for heating is currently 25 euros per tonne of CO2 and will rise to 30 euros at the turn of the year. Meanwhile, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) called for the income from the CO2 price on oil and gas to be reimbursed to the general public in full. (esa / dpa)
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