Minister Al-Wazir: Situation on gas market is serious

Tarek Al-Wazir

Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Economics Minister, speaks. Photo: Jens Buettner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

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In view of the serious situation on the gas market, Minister Al-Wazir urgently calls for savings. Otherwise there is a threat of the “emergency level” for gas with far-reaching consequences.

Hesse’s Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir (Greens) has called on the population to save energy. “The gas supply in Hesse is currently secured, there is currently no physical shortage of gas,” said the minister on Thursday in Wiesbaden. “Nevertheless, the situation is serious. Because the gas storage tanks have to be filled up by winter.” At the same time, less gas from Russia arrives in Germany.

“No one can predict today whether it will stay that way or even decrease,” explained Al-Wazir. “There was such a situation in Germany never, we should all be aware of that.” Now everyone has to prepare for the winter. “If we restrict ourselves in a few places today, we can prevent together that there will not be enough gas for everyone in winter.” If the storage tanks are not filled up by the beginning of winter, the state would have to decide who will still be supplied with gas. “We can and must prevent this situation,” emphasized the Economics Minister.

In view of the significantly reduced gas supplies from Russia, the federal government has declared the gas emergency plan on alert. The emergency plan has three levels: The alarm level now declared is the second. The third would be the emergency level. According to the plan, the alert level is a disruption to the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas, which leads to a significant deterioration in the gas supply situation. However, the market is still able to handle this disruption or demand.

Al-Wazir called it “expressly correct” that Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had declared the alarm level. Hesse I am in close contact with the federal government, the Federal Network Agency and the network operators in the state. It is also about providing the Federal Network Agency with information for a case that nobody wants, said the minister. Namely that in the third “emergency level” it must be decided who will still get gas and who will not.

Al-Wazir stressed that homes and clinics are high on the list for gas supplies. He welcomed corporate initiatives to reduce gas consumption. This is possible, for example, if thermal power stations could be switched to other energy sources such as mineral oil. In his own words, Al-Wazir considers it realistic to reduce gas consumption in Germany by 20 percent.