Liquefied natural gas, or LNG for short, was intended to make a significant contribution to securing Germany's energy supply after the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the stop in deliveries of Russian gas. Three LNG terminals have been in operation since the end of 2022, and the jetty for a fourth was handed over to the operator this Saturday in Stade, Lower Saxony. It is scheduled to begin operations in 2024, with two more to follow in the same year. However, the share of LNG in German gas imports is still low and was recently less than ten percent. However, the terminal capacities have not yet been fully utilized. The graphic below on gas imports shows where Germany currently gets most of its natural gas from.
“The gas flows to Germany are stable and balanced,” writes the Federal Network Agency. The largest quantities of natural gas are now imported to Germany from Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. LNG deliveries currently make up less than ten percent of the entire import portfolio.
Overall, the forecast for the winter is still positive, as the industry association Ines (Energy Storage Initiative) announced when presenting its new forecasts in Berlin: "Gas shortages still cannot be completely ruled out, but their occurrence is considered less likely evaluate," it said. The Federal Network Agency's management report is also mostly optimistic, after the early and cold onset of winter led to a rather critical assessment of the temperature forecast.
The memory levels are in the green area, the infographic below shows the progression. According to the law, the storage facilities in this country must be 85 percent full on October 1st, 95 percent full on November 1st (marked in the graphic) and still 40 percent full on February 1st. The 100 percent mark was reached in November, and the filling levels recently fell in line with the increased gas demand.
At the beginning of December, commercial and private gas consumption was above the average of recent years due to the extremely cold temperatures and the resulting increased need for heating, as the graphic below shows. The Federal Network Agency's forecast for gas consumption was recently critical, even when adjusted for temperature, because not enough gas was saved.
Sources: Federal Network Agency, industry association INES
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