Germany is currently working rapidly to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and to broaden the supply base of its energy. Thanks to intensive efforts with all the relevant stakeholders, it has been possible to make significant progress, to diversify the supply chains and thus to achieve clear reductions in the degree of dependence. Further advances have been made since the first energy security progress report of 25 March 2022. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has therefore presented the second progress report on energy security today. It can be found here.
Minister Habeck said: “In the last few weeks, we have made further intensive efforts with all the relevant stakeholders to import less fossil fuel from Russia and to broaden our supply base. Dependence on oil is down to 12 per cent; the figure for coal is 8 per cent and around 35 per cent for gas. All of the steps we are taking are demanding a massive joint effort by all the stakeholders, and they are also generating costs, as is being felt by businesses and household consumers. But they are necessary if we are not to remain open to blackmail by Russia. And we always need to think all of these steps in connection with more rapid progress on the expansion of renewable energy and more progress on energy conservation. An accelerated energy transition is the key to a cheap, independent and secure future energy supply.”
The biggest progress on reducing dependence on Russian energy imports in the weeks since the first report of 25 March 2022 has been made on oil and coal.
In the case of coal, the Federal Government has worked together with the power plant operators on purchasing and forming a coal stockpile from countries other than Russia, and has thus done the groundwork for the coal embargo adopted by the EU. New contractual arrangements mean that dependence on coal imports from Russia has dropped from 50 per cent at the start of the year to around 8 per cent. According to the EU decisions, existing contracts for coal concluded before 9 April 2022 can continue to be executed until 10 August 2022. Since 9 April 2022, the conclusion of new purchase contracts has been prohibited.
In the case of oil, further steps have been taken in recent weeks in a close dialogue between the oil industry and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to terminate supply relationships with Russia. Contracts have not been extended and are expiring, so that it has already proved possible to substitute large amounts of Russian oil. The oil companies (apart from Rosneft) are now in a position, given some preparation, to cover 100 per cent of their requirements without Russian crude oil. All of these measures together have cut Russian oil imports basically down to residual requirements of the refineries in Leuna and Schwedt (approx. 12 per cent in total); an end to dependence on Russian crude oil imports by the late summer is a realistic prospect.
Further progress is also being made on changing the supply of gas, but this continues to be a challenging process. The proportion of gas imports coming from Russia dropped to around 35 per cent by mid-April. To achieve this, the purchase of gas from Norway and the Netherlands has been stepped up, and LNG imports have been raised significantly. However, independence from Russian gas can only be achieved by a combined national effort. Many stakeholders – the Federation, the Länder, municipalities, businesses and households – need to take many steps simultaneously. Further to this, the Federal Government is working intensively in close coordination with the relevant Länder on bringing several floating LNG terminals into operation in Germany as early as 2022 and 2023. This requires a massive effort by everyone involved – not least in order to put in place the technical preconditions, e.g. the construction of the connecting pipelines. Necessary statutory prerequisites to accelerate the construction of LNG terminals are currently being coordinated within the Federal Government.