German officials have urged citizens to save energy at home in order to help ward off winter shortages and a potential European energy crisis, but they will continue to export electricity to France’s neighbor.
Electricity rates in France have increased recently due to issues at its nuclear power facilities, which prompted power companies in its neighbors to sell France their extra energy.
“Only half of France’s nuclear power plants are operating,” said Patrick Graichen, Germany’s deputy economy and energy minister. “That’s why we, as well as the Italians and others, are all basically exporting to France. That’s the way the electricity market is in Europe.”
It’s another sign of the energy crisis gripping Europe.
Both natural gas and electricity prices have reached all-time highs, experts at Rystad Energy reported. Power costs are rising as a result of Russia cutting gas exports to Germany and other nations and the recent decline in the share of renewable and nuclear energy in the global energy mix.
High energy costs are causing inflation and raising the possibility of a European recession.
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Even priceless natural gas is being used in massive quantities to create power for sale to France, which Germany is attempting to store for the upcoming winter heating season in case Russia completely cuts off supplies.
If we don’t want to shut down the entire European electricity market, we can’t claim that our German gas power plants won’t export to France any longer, Graichen remarked.
Steffen Hebestreit, a government spokesman, stated that there are no intentions to end this practice, stressing the requirement for European solidarity.
“That’s the way the European electricity market is set up and it could equally be the case, if we look to autumn and winter, that we might be grateful if others can help us out,” he said.
Meanwhile, the German Cabinet approved a series of measures Wednesday designed to reduce energy consumption, including restrictions on heating private pools and a cap of 19 degrees Celsius in public offices. Shops will also have to close their doors in winter to conserve heat, while illumination on advertising and public buildings has to be switched off at night.
In response to Russia’s decision to reduce the flow of gas through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of normal amounts, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and other nations have also implemented such restrictions to save natural gas.
Russia claims the interruption is the result of pipeline mechanical problems, but Western officials said Canada’s decision to send back important turbines for the pipeline termed Russia’s “bluff” and made it abundantly evident that Moscow preferred to weaponize energy over assistance for Ukraine.
‘We are in an economic war with you,’ they don’t even have the guts to say,’ German Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated last month.
A “stress test” study that will be released next week includes Germany providing electricity to its neighbors. The results of this analysis could determine whether or not the government decides to renew the operating licenses for Germany’s three surviving nuclear power reactors.
The nation’s long-standing plans to stop using nuclear power this year will be postponed as a result.
In theory, Graichen added, the nuclear power reactors could “suck a little more out of their fuel rods” in the months of January, February, and March. But after that, not much will be left.