Oil And Gas
Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives for companies to curb natural gas consumption, marking a new step in the economic war between Europe and Russia.
Berlin unveiled the measures after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it pushed back against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine.
The conservation measures are part of a broader strategy initiated by Germany after the invasion of Ukraine. Germany aims to reduce gas consumption and divert gas deliveries to storage facilities to ensure the nation has enough reserves to last through the winter.
Russia’s gradual cutting of gas supplies has raised concerns of a potential fuel shortage if Europe goes into winter with incomplete reserves. It has also raised prices, putting additional pressure on economies already struggling with rising borrowing costs and high inflation and facing the prospect of a recession.
The primary channel for Russian fuel to Europe, the Nord Stream, has reported a sharp drop in gas supplies. Gazprom, a Russian oil giant, has blamed the shortfall on missing parts stuck in Canada due to economic sanctions. European analysts and officials have dismissed the explanation.
To accelerate gas’ decline in the power mix, reduce reliance on gas, and build up reserves for the winter, the environmentalist Green Party has taken a U-turn. Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, said the German government would empower utility firms to extend the usage of coal-fired power plants.