Gazprom further restricts supplies via Nord Stream 1

DConcerns about gas supplies from Russia are growing. The state-owned energy company Gazprom has just announced that it will cut supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline – citing a lack of technology. Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), on the other hand, considers the restriction to be a “political decision”. The procedure is not technically justifiable, he said in Berlin on Wednesday.

Restrictions on Russian gas supplies may not immediately lead to an energy bottleneck in Germany. However, this shows how difficult it will be to fill the local gas tanks to a large extent by winter and then better prepare for the time demanding for heating. Habeck said there were no supply problems in Germany. How Gazprom’s decision affects Europe as a whole is still open. It won’t be clear in two or three days.

A bottleneck or even a halt in gas supplies from Russia will hit some companies particularly hard. According to a new survey, 9 percent of companies using natural gas would have to stop production altogether if supplies were cut off, and 18 percent would have to cut back significantly. The Institute for Labor and Employment Research (IAB) conducted a survey of companies in a representative sample in May 1980 and has now published the results of the study “The Energy Crisis and the Freeze on Gas Supply: Impact on Companies in Germany” in the journal Wirtschaftsdienst.

Not everyone has to worry

According to this, every second interviewed company uses natural gas. The share between energy-intensive and non-energy-intensive companies is almost the same. About 70 percent of respondents who use gas said they would feel little or no impact if they stopped taking natural gas. Therefore, more than two thirds of all companies surveyed do not have to worry about stopping Russian gas supplies.

Larger farms predict, on average, more severe impacts on their production. Many companies do not see a way to replace natural gas in a short time. This disproportionately affects energy-intensive companies and companies in East Germany in particular.

Although most companies would continue to be supplied even in the event of a shutdown, it was initially impossible to circumvent the allotment system, writes Christian Kagerl, Michael Moritz, Duncan Roth, Jens Stegmaier, Ignat Stepanok and Enzo Weber, who I am all active.

Companies are raising prices

Even without a complete halt in Russian gas supplies, overall energy costs have risen sharply. It began with a sharp rise in demand last year and also includes the Russian offensive war in Ukraine. According to a new study, 14 percent of companies surveyed have already reported a drop in production due to the Ukrainian war. 70 percent have been affected by energy price jumps since the beginning of the war. 25 percent of companies that purchase advanced services reported shortcomings in delivery.

Almost every second company (45 percent) has already raised prices due to the economic consequences of the war. The share is above average with 77 percent in major construction, transport (75 percent) and hospitality (73 percent) and industry (67 percent).

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