“The political uncertainty and the 60% reduction from mid-June unfortunately remain.”
The head of Germany’s network regulator, Klaus Müller. A major pipeline running from Russia to Europe reopened today after undergoing a 10-day shutdown for annual maintenance; energy flow being sent to Europe is still less than it was before the war in Ukraine began.
jul 21, 2022
- Why It Matters: European officials had been worried that the pipeline — which makes up about a third of Germany's gas supply — might not reopen at all; the limited amount once again being sent through the pipeline is not enough to ease supply concerns.
- Before the maintenance shutdown, deliveries were already "far below the pipeline's full capacity," thus jeopardizing the energy required by European nations.
- Why the gas reduction? Depends on who you ask. The Russian gas company blamed technical problems caused by sanctions imposed on Russia since the war in Ukraine began. German officials cite other reasons — such as political decisions to "sow uncertainty and further push up energy prices" (Associated Press).
- Big Picture: Germany and other European nations store up on natural gas during the warmer months in order to have enough heat and electricity for winter. The current gas flow is around 40% of capacity, causing Germany, the largest economy in Europe, to resort to alternative means of energy — such as firing up once-retired power plants.
- Something to Consider: The EU energy ministers will meet next week to discuss a potential reduction in consumption of Russian gas in light of rising concerns over energy supply from the country.
Key gas pipeline from Russia to Europe restarts after break (Associated Press)