Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany has made substantial progress in lowering its reliance on Russian gas, oil, and coal imports, according to Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
In the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, Germany is attempting to wean itself off Russian energy, but it is an uphill battle after decades of relying on Russia for energy supply.
According to Habeck, Russian oil imports now represent for 25% of German imports, down from 35% before the invasion, while gas imports have been reduced to 40% from 55%. Imports of Russian hard coal were decreased to 25% from 50% before the invasion.
“The first significant steps toward freeing us from Russian imports have been taken,” he stated.
By this summer, Russian gas imports will account for only 24% of total imports, but he estimates that it will take until the summer of 2024 for Europe’s greatest economy to be free of Russian gas.
According to Habeck, accomplishing that aim will necessitate a massive effort from the federal government, states, municipalities, businesses, and consumers. He said utilities were working hard to reduce their dependency on Russian pipelines, which had been in place for decades.
In recent weeks, the minister has visited gas producers like as Qatar and Norway, requesting that they increase supplies to Germany.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are being built by utilities Uniper and RWE to deliver sea-borne gas into the country.
According to Reuters, the European Union and the United States are ready to announce a deal to supply Europe with additional US liquefied natural gas (LNG).
According to individuals acquainted with the situation, President Joe Biden, who attended the EU leaders conference in Brussels on Thursday, guaranteed that the US would export at least 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) more LNG to Europe this year than previously scheduled.
Germany has made the most headway in reducing its reliance on Russian oil and coal exports.
German enterprises, according to Habeck, were able to diversify swiftly by canceling contracts, allowing them to expire, or striking new ones with different parties.
Germany’s reliance on Russian oil might be cut in half by the summer, and completely by the end of the year.
Power facilities that use Russian coal could run out of Russian coal as early as the autumn of 2022.
While an immediate energy embargo is premature, Habeck believes that “any supply contract that is terminated will harm Putin.”