The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has worked with the other relevant ministries to coordinate and finalise a ministerial ordinance on another increase in the storage requirements with a view to a further improvement in the level of preparedness and against the backdrop of the continuing tense situation on the gas market. The ministerial ordinance is being adopted in the Federal Gazette today and enters into force tomorrow (29 July). The ministerial ordinance also implements an important element of the energy security package presented by Minister Habeck on 21 July 2022.

Specifically, a new interim target of 75% is introduced to apply to storage levels on 1 September 2022. The intention of the rules is that, even if gas flows remain low, gas should not be taken out of the storage facilities, but that the facilities should continue to be filled. Further to this, the previous requirements on storage levels are increased further: from 80% to 85% on 1 October, and from 90% to 95% on 1 November. The extra 5 percentage points signify, as a maximum on 1 November of a calendar year, approximately 1 billion cubic metres of gas (approx. 12 TWh).

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said: “The Federal Government is doing all it can to continue to uphold security of supply. We have made considerable progress in recent months thanks to our concentrated and resolute action. Nevertheless, the situation remains tense, so we are stepping up our efforts and again increasing the storage level requirements. It’s clear that the gas reservoirs need to be full. We’re doing our utmost to make this happen.”

The ministerial ordinance adjusting the requirements for gas storage levels is based on section 35b(3) of the Energy Industry Act, according to which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action can stipulate different requirements for the relevant deadlines and storage levels where this is necessary to ensure the security of the gas supply. The situation on the gas market remains tense. Russia has cut its gas deliveries further in recent days even though there is no technical reason for this. So the level of uncertainty remains high, and the situation is serious.

Back on 22 June 2022, the Federal Government had provided €15 billion to help fill the storage facilities. This funding is being deployed by the market area manager Trading Hub Europe, and in recent weeks has helped to increase the storage levels in Germany to 67% (as of 28 July 2022).

The text of the ministerial ordinance can be found (in German) here.