Gas storage facilities in Germany are likely to be full sooner than necessary. Nevertheless, the industry association Initiative Energien Speicher warns of the consequences of a cold winter.
Berlin - In Germany, gas storage facilities are filling up. "If all goes well, we will have full storage facilities in late summer," says Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency. The industry association Initiative Energien Speicher (INES) is also confident that the required quota of 95 percent is likely to be reached by November or earlier. On Thursday morning (8 June), German storage facilities were a good 76 percent full, according to the European storage association GIE.
Possible gas shortage in winter: In cold temperatures, storage facilities could be completely empty in January
Nevertheless, INES does not dismiss the possibility that there could be a gas shortage in Germany in spring 2024. This assessment is based on the updated INES modelling. "We must not lull ourselves into a false sense of security," says INES Managing Director Sebastian Bleschke. Even if the gas storage facilities were to be fully filled again, the risk of a gas shortage in winter with cold temperatures remains.
The underground gas storage facility in Bad Lauchstädt (Saxony-Anhalt). © Jan Woitas/dpa
According to this, the gas storage facilities can be emptied strongly or completely at medium to cold temperatures. In both cases, the association calls compliance with the legal level requirement of 1 percent on February 2024, 40 "challenging". In the scenario calculations, the gas storage facilities will be completely emptied as early as January 2024 in cold temperatures.
Possible gas shortage in winter: at normal temperatures, the reserves are enough
With a normal temperature curve as in the European weather year 2016, the association expects a filling level of 38 percent on February 1, 2024. With a warm winter like 2020, the modelling for February 1 assumes a filling level of just under 65 percent. By comparison, in the past, mild winter of 2022/23, the filling level was just under 1 percent on February 2023, 79.
According to the Federal Network Agency, an average of 246 gigawatt hours of natural gas per day were pumped into the German transmission grid via the German LNG terminals in the first eight days of June. By way of comparison, an average of 1142 gigawatt hours of natural gas per day came from Norway by pipeline during the same period.
After massive subsidies: In Italy, the market for heat pumps is dead
Pension: Up to this amount, you do not have to pay taxes
Survey shows how satisfied heat pump owners really are
Because of electric cars: Drivers can no longer use car radios
Pension will soon rise by an average of 70 euros – but only for certain groups
Background to the INES gas scenarios
The Initiative Energien Speicher e.V. (INES) continuously models the European gas markets in order to assess the security of gas supply. On this basis and taking into account the storage levels as of June 1, 2023, three scenarios for further storage filling and gas supply in Germany in winter 2023/2024 were considered:
In the first scenario, the temperatures of the EU weather year 2016 are used on a country-by-country basis in order to consider normal temperatures.
Another scenario assumes "warm temperatures" as in the European winter of 2020.
A third scenario examines the gas supply for "cold temperatures" according to the European winter of 2010.