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Germany's gas storage levels hit 100% capacity

November 15, 2022

Germany's gas storage facilities are now at full capacity as the country prepares for a winter of disrupted supplies. Russia has slashed exports to Europe, forcing Berlin to look for other sources.

Round gas storage tanks in Mariendorf, Berlin
Round gas storage tanks in Mariendorf, Berlin Image: Schoening/Bildagentur-online/picture alliance

Data published on Tuesday by the European gas storage association GIE showed that natural gas storage facilities in Germany have now reached 100% capacity. 

Europe's largest economy has been building its reserves after Russia cut deliveries in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine

A cushion against shortages

Full storage tanks could prove a helpful buffer to ensure supplies for businesses and consumers over the winter months.

The country met its gas-saving targets ahead of schedule, having reached a 95% target set for November by mid-October.

"The total storage level in Germany stands at 100%," said the Federal Network Agency, Germany's energy regulator.

The storage milestone was reached on the same day that Germany opened a new quay dedicated to the import of liquified natural gas (LNG) by sea as an alternative to piped Russian supplies. Five such terminals are planned in total.

President of the Federal Network Agency Klaus Müller said that the events together represented a "double success."

"We now need this momentum for the expansion of renewable energies and their grids," said Müller.

How well are Germans prepared for a blackout?

Better-than-expected savings

The success of Germany's gas-saving effort was bolstered in part by Berlin's efforts to source alternative supplies. These have included LNG imports from producers such as Norway and the United States.

Businesses and private consumers have also adapted, heeding calls to reduce consumption. That was in part made possible by mild autumn weather that meant there was less need for heating than might otherwise have been expected.

The drive to avoid an energy crunch has also included temporarily reactivating old oil- and coal-fired power stations, and extending the life spans of Germany's last three nuclear power plants.  

rc/fb (AFP, dpa)