Prominent German government ministers now urge the nation’s left-wing governing coalition to reconsider its fracking ban while Russian supplies are depleted and the country faces a long and cold winter.
German Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck noted that it is possible that his countrymen will get through the winter months due to “high” savings and prayers for a warmer season than expected. But then, even with luck breaks, the situation gets intolerably worse.
Habeck confirmed that even his best scenario means the storage facilities will run dry and be “really empty” because all of its gas reserves will be used to get through to the spring.
Germany, which emphatically turned its back on nuclear power, coal, and fracking, is in crisis mode over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions on Russian oil and Moscow’s response resulted in the energy shortage sweeping the European continent.
Major issues with the Nord Stream pipelines, including sabotage, mean the country is forced to consider alternatives it previously rejected.
Germany imposed its ban on shale gas fracking in 2017, and though the measure was due to be reviewed last year, it remains in force.
There have also been recent overtures on reconsidering its rejection of nuclear power with the winter season’s pending arrival. Some call for delaying the nation’s nuclear phaseout and even restarting now-dormant coal plants.
As Rishi Sunak reneges on fracking at Garzweiler lignite mine in the west of Germany, the wind farm is to be dismantled to expand the mine.
The mine produces 25 million tonnes a year & the reserves should last until 2045.
Yet our coal mines remain closed..🤔 pic.twitter.com/xRbKsb5ObF
— Earl von Janus (@EarlJanus1) November 1, 2022
German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that Federal Finance Minister Christian Linder is now pushing the government to rethink its climate goals. Thus far he has faced pushback, despite some predictions that gas tanks may be dry by the end of February.
The country is currently constructing infrastructure to increase the flow of liquified natural gas from the U.S., and much of that is already from fracking.
Linder took the step of listing several possible fracking sites in the country, noting that there is already ample demand for production. Much like the situation in the U.S., the official said that the country within a few short years could cover “a relatively large demand from domestic sources.”
Also like the U.S., there must be a government willing to utilize these domestic sources and end reliance on potentially hostile foreign suppliers. If and when that lofty goal is reached, foreign policy concerns will never again need to be leveraged against energy needs.