German chancellor tries to ease concerns over energy crisis
Germany has improved its energy supply security owing to the government’s timely measures, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday.
“On the energy supply security, we’re in a much better situation than a few months ago,” he told reporters ahead of his Cabinet’s two-day closed meeting at the Meseberg Palace.
“Unlike last year, our gas storage facilities are now more than 80% full, and we’ll continue our efforts to fill up these sites,” he said, adding that several coal-fired power plants are also reactivated to save gas for the winter.
Scholz said the government is also considering extending the lifespan of the country’s last three nuclear power plants, but said a decision will be taken after the results of ongoing stress tests on these plants.
Germany is planning to implement a range of energy-saving measures beginning from Sep. 1 to prepare for potential disruptions to Russian gas imports, amid growing tensions with Kremlin over its war in Ukraine.
According to the government's plan, public buildings will not be heated more than 19 degrees Celsius, and hot water will be switched off in these buildings, with the exception of hospitals and social facilities. Corridors and little-used rooms in administrative buildings will not be heated.
Lights on government buildings and monuments will be shut off if they are used for purely aesthetic reasons.
The plan also introduces new restrictions for businesses, and they will be forced to turn off the lights in shop windows overnight. They are also required to close doors while heating their shops to improve energy efficiency.