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As Germany scrambles to avert a fuel crisis this winter, one rural district has become a role model for how the country might wean itself off dwindling imports of Russian gas - by producing all the energy that it consumes itself. The western district of Rhein-Hunsrueck uses a combination of solar, wind and biofuel to generate enough power to run its homes, public buildings and businesses, with enough left over to contribute to an electric car-sharing service and e-bikes. "Up until 1995, not a single kilowatt hour of energy used in our district was produced by us. Everything had to be imported," said Frank-Michael Uhle, the district's climate protection manager.
Russia tightened its gas squeeze on Europe on Monday as Gazprom said supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany would drop to just 20% of capacity. Gazprom said flows would fall to 33 million cubic metres per day from 0400 GMT on Wednesday - a halving of the current, already reduced level - because it needed to halt the operation of a Siemens gas turbine at a compressor station on instructions from an industry watchdog. Germany said it saw no technical reason for the latest reduction, which comes as Russia and the West exchange economic blows in response to what Moscow calls its special military operation in Ukraine.
German energy giant Uniper on Friday said it is having to draw down gas from storage facilities, reducing supplies needed for winter even as Europe is experiencing an extreme heatwave.The embattled utility told CNBC in a statement that reducing gas volumes from its own storage facilities was necessary “in order to supply our customers with gas and to secure the Uniper’s liquidity.”
The biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany starts annual maintenance on Monday, with flows expected to stop for ten days, but governments, markets and companies are worried the shut-down might be extended due to war in Ukraine. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year of gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It will undergo maintenance from July 11 to 21.
State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Jochen Flasbarth, who is on a two-day visit to India, held meetings with a number of officials from the Environment, Coal and the External Affairs Ministries.
Germany's economy minister announced the seizure in a statement on Monday. The move came after the ministry of economic affairs learned that Gazprom Germania had been acquired by JSC Palmary and Gazprom export business services LLC
Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck secured the deal on a visit to Doha as part of efforts to diversify Germany's energy supply, according to his ministry.
Iberdrola and Vestas have signed a contract to supply 50 units of the offshore wind turbine V174-9.5 MW for the Baltic Eagle project being developed off the island of Rügen, in German waters of the Baltic Sea. Both parties have also signed a contract for Service and Maintenance of the new turbines. With 476.25 MW installed capacity and spanning a 40 km2 area.
EP New Energies (EPNE), the EPH group owned renewables developer, selected GE Renewable Energy (GE) to supply 50 wind turbines, each with 6 MW rated capacity. The wind turbines will be installed in onshore wind farms being developed by EPNE in Germany, among them the 100 MW project, Forst-Briesnig II, in the Federal State of Brandenburg, which is owned by LEAG.
German clean-tech company Sunfire and Total have joined hands for a pilot project in Germany. The companies will try to produce methanol from renewables and carbon dioxide at the Leuna refinery. A plant is being constructed at the refinery which will be completed next year and production is expected to start in 2021. The plant will produce 500 tonnes of green methanol in the first three years.
Neptune Energy has decided to acquire interests in some of Wintershall Dea's oil and gas fields in Emsland and the Grafschaft Bentheim. This agreement will help Neptune increase its existing interest in the Bramberge, Meppen and Annaveen oilfields. This final transaction will take place after regulatory and partner approvals. Its expected completion is in the third quarter of 2019.
The industry group of Germany, MWV said that presently they are not facing any shortage of gasoline or diesel due to contaminated crude oil on Russia's Druzhba pipeline. But the company has warned of future challenges if improvements do not occur. Pertaining to the above reason, Russia temporarily stopped the oil flows last month which resulted in the rise in global prices.
French supermajor Total has informed about suspending operations at some of the Leuna refinery units in Germany, over technical checks due to contaminated Russian crude supply. High levels of organic chloride contaminations were discovered in crude oil supplied via the Druzhba pipeline in April. Total expects operations to resume at the 230,000 barrel-per-day refinery on Saturday.
In an effort to cope up with the objections posed by the US and other European countries, the developers of natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany have applied for a third alternative route. This route is from the south of Denmark's Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. The Danish Energy Agency has informed that Nord Stream 2 has applied for an alternative route which includes Denmark's exclusive economic zone.
Amidst the ongoing debate on Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the European Union's main institutions have agreed on a tentative deal. This deal will increase the bloc's role in managing a pipeline from Russia to Germany. EU's Energy Commissioner has declared "that everyone interested in selling gas to Europe must respect European energy law." However, US has declared Nord Stream as a threat to Europe's energy security.
NordStream 2 pipeline has been under severe criticism from a long period of time. Previously, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany stated that the fellow nation should put this pipeline project on hold after Russia’s act of seizing three Ukrainian ships near Crimea. But, Germany is unaffected by any criticism regarding NordStream 2 which will transport gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine. Germany’s government spokesman informed that Ukraine will remain a transit country.
Germany’s energy major, Wintershall Holding has been awarded 10% stakes in the Ghasha ultra-sour gas mega project by UAE. The energy giant, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) informed about this deal on Monday. The foundation of this deal is ADNOC’s new integrated gas strategy which has been focused upon unlocking and maximizing value from Abu Dhabi’s gas reserves. Abu Dhabi wants to be gas self-sufficient in the coming future.