Germany can avoid gas shortages even if Russia halts all deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a top energy economist expert said on Wednesday.
The pipeline, the single biggest conduit of Russian gas to Germany, started undergoing annual maintenance on Monday.
But the German government and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended because of the war in Ukraine.
Claudia Kemfert, an energy economist at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), said the government would avoid shortages if it developed gas supply relations with countries other than Russia.
He said this would happen if it constantly filled storage facilities and encouraged the public to save gas.
“If the three components are accomplished, I don’t see that we will actually have to face a gas shortage,’’ Kemfert said.
In the case of conventional natural gas, Germany’s alternative sources have so far mainly included the Netherlands and Norway.
In the case of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Economy Minister Robert Habeck made efforts to establish new supply relationships during a trip to Qatar in the spring.
Whether, when and how much more gas would actually come from the emirate remained to be seen.
The filling level of Germany’s gas storage facilities is rising slowly but steadily.
It is currently at around 65 per cent.
The German government has repeatedly called on consumers and industry to save energy.