Gas emergency plan: the federal government calls for an alert – Habeck with a gloomy forecast and an urgent appeal

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck will announce the alarm level of the gas emergency plan on Thursday morning.Image: dpa / Michael Kappeler

live ticker

06/23/2022, 11:49 am06/23/2022, 12:29 p.m

Anna von Stefenelli

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has declared the gas emergency plan on alert. At a press conference on Thursday morning, he justified this step with a clear “disruption to the gas supply”. Security of supply in winter and overcoming the energy crisis play a central role in the emergency plan.

The press conference is over. Here you can read the live ticker.

10.49 a.m .: Habeck swears in the population: “The sum of many small measures helps a lot in the end”

Economics Minister Robert Habeck believes that in order to overcome the energy crisis, it is necessary to work together with other European countries. “We’re better off in a common market,” said Habeck. In terms of energy supply, for example, it is important to develop common lines and infrastructure and to remove barriers.

Habeck is convinced that every contribution to increasing energy efficiency counts.

Habeck is convinced that every contribution to increasing energy efficiency counts.Image: robin utrecht / ROBIN UTRECHT

This applies to the gas and hydrogen sectors as well as to the electricity sector. He uses the press conference for an appeal: “I want to underline that the expansion of energy efficiency measures and renewables is a big part of the solution”. the EU companies and private individuals must support their contributions to energy efficiency with funding measures and do everything possible not to slow them down. “The sum of many small measures helps a lot in the end,” Habeck is convinced.

With this aim, the minister closes the press conference.

10.45 a.m .: Habeck hopes for an economic solution through “concerted action”

A journalist asks how the burden could be distributed fairly among the people and companies in Germany. Habeck refers to the “concerted action” called by Chancellor Scholz to prevent the looming recession and wage-price spiral. Possible solutions will be discussed at the beginning of July. “I don’t want to anticipate that,” said Habeck. A hopeful insight is that trade unionists, small and medium-sized companies, employee representatives and companies agree that German domestic demand and purchasing power must be maintained. Everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction.

10.42 a.m .: Habeck on rationing for industry: trying to “avoid the scenario”

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck wants to avoid rationing for industry as far as possible in the current gas crisis. “That shouldn’t happen, in any month at best,” said the Green politician on Thursday in Berlin, but added: “Of course I can’t rule it out because what we’re doing is so full of prerequisites. But it’s not Scenario that we are working towards – on the contrary.”

All measures are designed to keep market forces as effective as possible and to create other alternatives, said Habeck. It is about making savings, switching to other energy sources and expanding the infrastructure “to avert this scenario”.

10:39 a.m .: Prices increase when the “entire market” threatens to collapse

A journalist asks Economics Minister Robert Habeck when consumers will start to feel the rise in gas prices and why this has not yet been the case. According to Habeck, price increases have already reached consumers. This is shown above all by the significantly increased advance payments for the coming year, which can assume increases of 200 percent.

Due to the current situation and the lack of Russian gas, utilities are currently making a minus, according to Habeck. “Should this minus become so great that the companies can no longer bear it, the entire market threatens to collapse,” says Habeck. The gas price regulation paragraph of the Energy Security Act could prevent this. If the paragraph came into force, prices would not only increase for companies, but also for consumers. However, this “sword” is “so sharp that it has to be used with great care”.

10.35 a.m .: Minister appeals to people to contribute to the way out of the crisis

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck has asked private households and companies to service heating systems because of the gas crisis. “It makes sense to adjust the heating sensibly,” said Habeck on Thursday in Berlin. This enables savings of 15 percent. “So we are now required to reduce gas consumption.” Habeck spoke of a “deceptive security” in the summer. “But winter will come, so we have to take precautions now to be prepared for the winter.” The Federal Ministry of Economics had previously declared the alarm level in the gas emergency plan. Even “sneered at”, small steps would make a small difference in the sum. “We have to make this difference,” says Habeck with conviction.

The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline, through which Russian natural gas has been flowing to Germany since 2011, ends in Lubmin near Greifswald.

The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline, through which Russian natural gas has been flowing to Germany since 2011, ends in Lubmin near Greifswald.Image: dpa / Stefan Sauer

10.19 a.m .: Habeck predicts: “Prices will reach the consumer”

Utility companies are not to be given the opportunity on Thursday to increase their gas prices under the Energy Security Act. This has been possible by law since May 21st. Habeck does not want to draw this card just yet. On the one hand, because the federal government wants to continue to monitor the market. On the other hand, because regardless of the use “the prices reach the consumer”, according to the minister’s prophecy. The gas crisis is an “enormous burden for many people”.

The gas price regulator of the Energy Security Act could nevertheless be used soon. Two conditions must be met for this: On the one hand, the alarm level or emergency level must have been declared in the gas emergency plan. On the other hand, the Federal Network Agency must have determined a “considerable reduction in the total gas import volumes to Germany” on this basis. This determination must be published in the Federal Gazette. Only then are companies allowed to raise prices to a “reasonable level”.

10.14 a.m .: Alert level requirement for coal and energy security

According to the latest analyses, the alert level is necessary in the current situation. According to Economics Minister Robert Habeck, it creates the basis for quickly implementing energy supply measures.

10.10 a.m .: “Measures that really hurt” are now needed

According to Habeck, the failures of the past decades are taking revenge in the current crisis situation. “They must now be caught up.” For this one is now forced to take measures that “really hurt”. For example, coal-fired power plants are to be put into operation from the reserve in order to be able to take gas off the market and store it. A gas savings auction model should also enable the industry to take gas consumption out of operation for money. That means the state also wants to buy gas from German companies. Germany would also like to buy more gas for storage for 15 billion euros.

10.05 a.m .: Habeck: “Failures that lead Germany into this distress”

Economics Minister Robert Habeck takes a critical look at Germany’s energy management in the past: “I want and I have to say at this point that we weren’t good enough in Germany in recent years.” It is the failures of the last decade that have now led Germany into this distress.

By that he means not only the politically incorrect dependency on Russia, but also the lack of willingness to create alternatives. “How different would we be if we had really made massive progress in energy efficiency and the expansion of renewables in recent years instead of standing still?” Asks Habeck.

10:00 a.m.: Habeck announces activation of the second gas alert level

“We have a disruption in the gas supply in Germany, so it is necessary to declare a state of emergency at this point,” said Economics Minister Robert Habeck at the press conference. Summer is deceptive. “But winter will come,” says Habeck. You have to do everything you can to go into the winter with full saves.

Economics Minister Habeck enters the press room.

Economics Minister Habeck enters the press room.Image: dpa / Michael Kappeler

President’s strategy Wladimir Putin be it to stir up insecurity. The federal government is therefore calling out the gas alert level, the second of three emergency levels. The third would be the emergency level.

According to the emergency plan, the alert level indicates a disruption in the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas, which leads to a significant deterioration in the gas supply situation. The announcement is related to the severe throttling of Russian gas supplies since last week. Habeck announced the early warning stage as the first stage of the plan at the end of March.

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