Energy security: How long the stored gas lasts


Background

Status: 19.06.2022 13:00

Gas supplies from Russia are lagging behind, with storage tanks in Germany full by a good 56 percent. How long would this gas theoretically last? And what alternatives to Russia does Germany have?

On average, natural gas storage facilities in Germany are currently about 56 percent full. According to the Federal Network Agency, this is a higher level than in 2021 – and also higher than in 2015, 2017 and 2018, for example.

In addition, the new gas storage law should ensure that the storage tanks are sufficiently filled at the beginning of winter. The law prescribes 80 percent fulfillment by October 1 and 90 percent by November 1.

The federal network agency describes the situation as “tense”, but gas supplies are stable at the moment. “Security of supply in Germany is currently guaranteed.” However, natural gas supplies from Russia fell sharply – to about 40 percent of maximum output.

How long will natural gas reserves last?

In Germany, natural gas with an energy content of around 1,000 terawatt hours is consumed annually. According to the INES industry association, storage tanks can store gas with a maximum energy content of around 256 terawatt hours. “This storage volume alone can supply Germany with gas for two to three average cold winter months,” says the federal government.

Gas tanks, which are 56 percent full, would last about one to one and a half months with unchanged consumption. However, consumption depends on many factors. For example, gas consumption has already fallen sharply due to sharp increases in prices.

Gas from Norway and the Netherlands

Moreover, Germany is not only dependent on Russian supplies. It is also imported from Norway and the Netherlands, among others. Germany is also expected to be able to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) via landing terminals abroad. However, alternatives are more expensive than Russian natural gas.

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