How much is Germany dependent on Russia for energy?Foreign media: Half of the natural gas needs to be imported from Russia

Military chiefs praised Putin, refused to supply arms to Ukraine…Recently, Germany has not been at the forefront of the Russia-Ukraine issue as America and Britain have been.Secretary of State Blinken came out again to reassure the army.In an interview with NBC on Wednesday, he said he had “no doubt” about Germany’s determination to confront Russia over Ukraine.Meanwhile, U.S. officials said the Biden administration has been busy in talks with governments and companies in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to develop a “global strategy” for natural gas, in case tensions between Russia and Ukraine cut off supplies to Europe.Some US media believe that Germany’s restraint towards Russia is due to its dependence on Russian gas.According to Reuters, the German government has said it will consider imposing sanctions on the second line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline if Russia “invades” Ukraine.The suspension of the project means that much of Germany’s future gas imports will not reach the country.Here’s a look at the current state of the German gas industry.What are the numbers?According to statistics, Germany imported 119 billion cubic meters of natural gas from January to October 2021 and used 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas domestically in 2021.Germany imports most of the gas it consumes, with Russia providing half of its supplies.Russia’s role as a gas supplier will be irreplaceable for years to come.Why does Germany need gas?In 2021, Germany generated 15.3 percent of its electricity by burning natural gas.Half of Germany’s 41.5 million homes are heated by natural gas, and in manufacturing industries such as ceramics cannot sustain production without the fuel.According to Germany’s economy minister, only 50.6% of the country’s gas reserves remain, according to data from the European Gas Infrastructure Register.What does that mean?According to Germany’s economy minister, in theory, those reserves would last only 17.7 days.This is clearly a matter of great urgency for the country.What other commodity trade relations do Germany and Russia have?Germany and Russia have enjoyed a strong energy supply partnership for decades.Germany doesn’t just need Russian gas.From January to October 2021, 34 percent of Germany’s crude oil came from Russia.Russia supplied 53 per cent of the hard coal received by German power plants and steelmakers last year.Will gas demand decline in the future?To comply with Germany’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, demand should eventually fall.In power generation, however, gas use is expected to increase over a transitional period under plans to phase out coal and nuclear power.What choice does Germany have besides Russia?The US has offered to send more gas to Germany if Nord Stream line is abandoned.However, this will mean strengthening LNG infrastructure, leading to more volatility in gas supply and prices.At the same time, Europe has to compete with Asian buyers to secure supplies in the global LNG market.The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Germany is cautious about Russia and Ukraine because it is too dependent on Russia for natural gas.In the event of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Germany would be vulnerable to such dependence and Europe would find it difficult to impose sanctions on Russia.Germany has become the world’s largest buyer of Russian gas due to its policy of reducing nuclear power and phasing out coal-fired power plants in recent years.Germany imports more than half of its gas from Russia, according to Eurostat.The average share of other EU countries’ gas imports from Russia is not low either, at 40%.And German imports are set to rise.Nord Stream 2, which will carry gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, was completed last September but has yet to officially start operating.The pipeline is expected to double Germany’s gas imports from Russia.The 55-bm-a-year pipeline was originally expected to be completed by the end of 2019, but has been delayed by nearly two years because of US sanctions.The US and its Western Allies have been pushing for a German commitment to mothball nord Stream 2 immediately in the event of Russian military intervention in Ukraine.The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline is seen at Port Mukeland in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Lugen, Germany, On July 23, 2021.People’s Vision reports that The new German Chancellor Scholz has not made such a commitment in public.Asked about the pipeline at a joint news conference with visiting NATO secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin on January 18, Scholz said only vaguely that if military intervention took place, Russia would “pay a very high price and everything must be on the table”.German conservative leader Markus Sodel, premier of Bavaria, is opposed to tightening sanctions against Russia and nord Stream 2, Sputnik news agency reported Tuesday.He said tougher and tougher sanctions against Russia were not the answer, both because they were becoming less effective and because they would hurt Germany.Stopping Nord Stream 2 or completely banning gas from Russia would also hurt our country.Germany does not want to follow the US and Britain and other countries to “tough” Russia has its reasons.Russia has provided Germany with a steady supply of cheap, high-quality gas for decades.Erich Vad, a retired Brigadier general and former national security adviser in the Chancellery, said Russia had never used gas as an “energy weapon” against Germany, “which has shaped German optimism about Russia, which is seen as a reliable energy supplier”.Moreover, while Germany has invested heavily in renewable energy, the transition away from fossil fuels has been slow and uneven.Natural gas currently accounts for about 25 per cent of Germany’s total energy consumption, a share that will increase as the country closes more nuclear and coal-fired power plants.”Russian gas cannot be replaced in the short term,” said Markus Krebber, chief executive of RWE, the German power giant.Source: Reference News, Observer

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