The gas emergency plan regulates the procedure in Germany should the supply situation deteriorate significantly. At the end of March, the Ministry of Economics announced the first stage. The situation is serious. Allegedly, the federal government is currently preparing the next stage: the alert stage.
According to a report in the newspaper "Welt", the federal government is preparing to raise the alarm level of the national gas emergency plan within a few days. Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Patrick Graichen prepared the energy industry for the upcoming step on Monday, the paper writes, citing the industry. This representation was confirmed by dpa inquiries in circles of the energy industry. This second stage could immediately and significantly increase the price of natural gas for all consumers.
The Economics Ministry itself does not want to speculate about the proclamation of the next stage in the gas emergency plan. "The legal regulations and specifications apply to the stages of the gas emergency plan. We make decisions based on these specifications and do not speculate about them. Decisions are made based on the current situation and the current picture of the situation," said a spokeswoman. Security of supply is currently guaranteed, but the situation is serious.
Russia had recently significantly throttled gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline. Economics Minister Robert Habeck had announced a package of measures to reduce gas consumption in industry. The "Welt" reported that the suppliers should assume that the alarm level will be declared within five to ten days.
With the announcement, Graichen addressed the 55 members of the board of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW). The association said that committee meetings are not public: "The BDEW therefore does not provide information about the course and content of such meetings and does not comment on any speculation in this regard."
The gas emergency plan regulates the procedure in Germany if the supply situation threatens to deteriorate significantly - or if this is the case. There are three levels. At the end of March, the Ministry of Economics announced the first stage, the early warning stage, in order to prepare for a deterioration in the situation.
In this case, the government, headed by the Ministry of Economy, closely monitors the situation on the gas market. A crisis team made up of authorities, energy suppliers, transmission system operators and representatives of the federal states meets regularly and advises the government. Gas suppliers and network operators provide the executive with regular assessments of the situation.
The second level would be the alert level. According to the plan, there is then a disruption in the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas, which leads to a "significant deterioration in the gas supply situation" - but the market is still able to cope with this disruption or demand without non-market-based measures being taken Need to become. According to the plan, the emergency level follows the alarm level, the state must intervene – in particular to ensure the gas supply of “protected customers” – these are private households, for example.