The federal government is recommending that companies stock up on emergency power generators because of the natural gas crisis – in preparation for a possible “gas and electricity shortage.”
As the “Bild” newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a response from Finance Minister Patrick Greichen (Greens) to CSU member of the Bundestag Stephan Pilsinger, the units are intended to compensate for possible power outages. “Equipping with emergency generators is highly recommended for critical infrastructure operators,” Graichen writes. The reason is that there is no “stop sequence” in the event of a crisis.
– vbw study: This is what happens when Russia turns off the gas tap
“In the event of a gas or electricity shortage”, the Federal Network Agency takes over the operation of the federal load distributor. “They are then responsible for the distribution of natural gas or electricity in close coordination with the network operators,” the government’s response continues. Therefore, Graichen recommends that emergency generators have a 72-hour bridging time. Pilsinger criticized the federal government’s request. “The fact that the government is recommending the purchase of emergency generators is an affidavit,” he told the newspaper.
Fears of a complete failure of Russian gas supplies
The Chairman of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, fears a complete failure of Russian gas supplies – and appeals to the population to save energy. The question is whether the upcoming routine maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline “will become a longer-term political maintenance,” Müller told media group Funke’s papers (Saturday). If the flow of natural gas from Russia “is motivated to decline for a longer period of time, we need to talk more seriously about saving.” The twelve weeks before the start of the heating season should be used to make preparations, he said.
Finance Minister Robert Habeck had already made it clear on Thursday that he feared a complete lack of Russian gas supplies from Nord Stream. From July 11, there is a risk of a “total blockade of Nord Stream 1”, the Green politician said. That’s why winter can be really problematic. Gas supply in summer is guaranteed. Nord Stream’s annual maintenance work, which usually lasts ten days, begins on July 11. Then no gas flows through Nord Stream 1. The big concern is that Russia will not turn the gas tap back on after the maintenance.
Federal Network Agency: ‘Make no promises’
According to the President of the Federal Network Service, in the event of a disruption in the supply of Russian natural gas, private households as well as hospitals and nursing homes will receive special protection. “I can promise that we will do everything we can to prevent private households from going without gas,” Mueller said. “We’ve learned from the coronavirus crisis that we shouldn’t make promises if we’re not sure we can keep them.” However, the grid agency does not see “any scenario in which no more natural gas will come to Germany”. If industrial companies have to be separated from the natural gas supply, “we are oriented to the business damage, the economic damage, the social consequences and also the technical requirements of the operation of the natural gas network,” Müller said.
Hamburg: “Hot water only at certain times of the day”
Hamburg’s Senator for the Environment Jens Kerstan (Greens), however, does not rule out restricting hot water for private households in the event of a gas emergency in the Hanseatic city. “In an acute gas shortage, hot water could only be available at certain times of the day in an emergency,” Kerstan told “Welt am Sonntag”. A general reduction of the maximum room temperature in the district heating network could also be considered. For technical reasons alone, it will not be possible everywhere in Hamburg to distinguish between commercial and private customers in the event of a gas shortage, he told the newspaper.
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