Federal Minister Habeck on announcing the alert level for gas

On 23 June, the Federal Government announced the second of three escalation levels of the Emergency Plan for Gas, the alert level for gas. In the video, Federal Minister Habeck explains the background circumstances and emphasises that the security of supply continues to be ensured.

Nahaufnahme der blauen Flamme eines Gasherds.© BMWK

„There is a disruption in the gas supply, which has made this step necessary," the minister said, describing the background circumstances to the announcement of the alert level. „Security of supply is currently ensured, but the situation is tense." It was now necessary to reduce gas consumption in order to be prepared for the winter. The reason for announcing the alert level was the further reduction in gas supplies from Russia via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in mid-June, which had led to even more tensions on the gas market.

Fill level of gas storage tanks at 60 per cent

At just under 60 per cent, gas storage facilities are fuller than in the previous year. However, if Russian gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline remain at the low level of 40 percent of the total capacity, a storage level of 90 per cent by December is hardly achievable without additional measures.

What exactly is the Emergency Plan for Gas?
The Emergency Plan for Gas regulates the procedure based on three levels of alert in the event that the supply of gas in Germany is threatened. Robert Habeck did not announce the early warning level of the Gas Emergency Plan until the end of March. This meant that the gas supply in Germany was subsequently being closely monitored as a precautionary measure. With the announcement of the alert level, the market players are still responsible for mitigating the situation on their own. Only when a „significant disruption to the gas supply or some other significant deterioration of the gas supply situation" is reported, is it time to trigger the emergency level for gas (level 3 of the emergency plan), which the Federal Government can announce by means of an ordinance.

„From now on, gas is a scarce commodity".

The Federal Minister went on to say: „Even if quantities of gas can currently still be procured on the market and stored, the situation is serious and winter will come. We must not delude ourselves: cutting gas supplies is an economic attack on us by Putin. It is clearly Putin's strategy to create insecurity, drive up prices and divide us as a society. Even if you don't feel it yet, we are in a gas crisis. From now on, gas is a scarce commodity."
Re-connecting coal-fired power plants to the grid

By announcing the alert level, the Federal Government can now also begin to re-connect more coal-fired power plants to the grid to further reduce gas consumption in the power sector. At the same time, it has made a credit line of initially 15 billion euros available to fill gas storage facilities for Trading Hub Europe (THE), the market area manager for the entire German market area.