Enormous quantities of natural gas used to flow from Russia to Germany. Then Moscow turned off the taps. Data from the Federal Network Agency show that the missing gas volumes have now almost been compensated.
In terms of net gas imports, sharp increases in gas imports from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium have almost compensated for the loss of Russian gas supplies since the end of August 2022. This emerges from an internal paper from the Federal Network Agency, which is available to the German Press Agency dpa. According to this, Germany imported an average of 77.0 terawatt hours of natural gas per month from 2017 to the end of February 2022, minus exports, which was used to cover national consumption and to fill storage tanks.
In contrast, the net import from September 2022 to the end of January – i.e. without Russian gas deliveries – was 72.7 terawatt hours per month. In addition, around 4 terawatt hours of liquefied natural gas came from the new LNG terminals on the German coasts in January. To classify the quantities: According to the Federal Network Agency, Germany consumed around 1000 terawatt hours of natural gas in 2021.
decline in exports
According to the paper, an average of 26 terawatt hours of natural gas flowed from Norway to Germany every month from 2017 to the end of February 2022. After the suspension of Russian deliveries, this amount was 41 terawatt hours. Net imports from the Netherlands rose from 2 to 25 terawatt hours. With Belgium, gas flows were balanced before the war with an average monthly volume of around 2 terawatt hours in both directions. Since September, around 23 terawatt hours of natural gas have only flowed in one direction every month: from Belgium to Germany.
The data also shows that significantly less natural gas has been forwarded from Germany to other countries since September than before. There were significant declines in gas flows with Switzerland, for example, where import volumes exceeded exports to Switzerland from September to January.
The Federal Network Agency continues to rate the gas supply in Germany as “stable”. “The security of supply is guaranteed,” it said recently in the daily gas situation report of the authority. The authority does not give the all-clear: preparing for the winter of 2023/2024 is a key challenge. Economical gas consumption therefore remains important.