Due to the collapse of Russian-supplied gas, Germany and the rest of Europe have been seeing gas and energy costs skyrocket as winter quickly approaches. The latest in a stream of continuous warnings about the looming energy crisis came on September 30 when German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, told Deutschlandfunk radio that “If we don’t save if households don’t reduce consumption, we still risk not having enough gas in the winter.”
Habeck’s statement is one of many regarding growing concerns that Germany, and other European countries, are facing a very bleak and cold winter if energy demands don’t change soon. Klauss Mueller, chief of Bundesnetzagentur which is Germany’s network regulator, said in a statement that “Without significant cutbacks in the private sector, too, it will be difficult to avoid a gas shortage in winter.” The necessary energy and gas cutbacks don’t just need to happen now, but they would also need to continue into the winter as temperatures drop.
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According to Mueller, Germany will only have enough gas to survive the winter if Germany imports more gas, if the gas supplied to neighboring countries is stabilized, and if Germans continue to reduce their gas consumption throughout the winter.
Meanwhile, in an effort to lower rising energy prices, the German government has lowered the sales tax on electricity from 19 percent down to 7 percent.
The looming gas shortage and temporary reduction in energy costs are driving panicking Germans to snatch up electric heaters as they prepare for an uncertain winter. Electric heater sales in Germany this year have leaped a stunning 76 percent compared to last year’s sales figures. It’s one more sobering reminder of what Habeck described as an, “extremely tense situation” as Germany tries to find a solution to its dwindling energy and gas supply before winter arrives and temperatures plummet.