Heat and energy - how do we get through the winter?

"We are now only talking about the price"

Panel on energy supply - the signs have changed

It was a "rematch", as moderator Dr. Ferdinand Schuster, Chairman of the VBKI Committee for Intelligent Infrastructure, explained at the beginning. Because last year, the VBKI had already organized an event on the topic of "Heat and energy - how do we get through the winter?" At that time, gas had to be saved everywhere and emergency plans for a gas shortage were discussed. Today, the situation is completely different: "The question of gas supply security is no longer in the public consciousness. We are now only talking about price," said Georg Friedrichs, CEO of GASAG, summarizing the current mood among the population. Heike Tauber, Chief Transformation Officer of Vattenfall Wärme Berlin, also assessed the current situation as good, saying that the major challenge now lies more in the heating transition.

However, this does not mean that the situation cannot change very quickly: A surprisingly cold winter, Russia stops supplying gas to Austria and Italy and Germany has to fulfill its obligation to provide assistance, combined with a current increase in gas consumption. Then things could get difficult again, said Kristina Haverkamp, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency and the only newcomer on the podium, outlining the worst-case scenario for this winter. Admittedly, a scenario with a lot of ifs.

"We compete on the global market for LNG."

Gabor Beyer, Managing Director Ryze Power


According to Gabor Beyer, Managing Director of Ryze Power, one of the reasons for the positive mood on the market and the fall in gas prices is the expansion in the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) due to the construction of new LNG terminals. However, these also lead to great price volatility, as "we are competing on the global market for LNG. LNG tankers head for the ports where they can achieve the highest prices. This leads to competition compared to an exclusive gas pipeline with a permanent flow".

LNG is not suitable for a sustainable energy supply in terms of the energy transition. This requires a massive expansion of wind power, solar and biogas plants. Last year alone, six terawatts of surplus energy were generated that were not fed into the grid because they were not needed. This is because, according to Friedrichs, consumption is usually low when solar cells are producing the most. Hydrogen is needed as an intermediate storage medium, but the conversion back into energy has not yet been solved and the time until Berlin wants to be climate-neutral is short. "We will meet again next winter in the same place and in the same constellation," said moderator Ferdinand Schuster at the end of the event, referring to the challenges ahead.

The Berliner Zeitung and the Morgenpost also reported on the event. You can find the articles here and here.


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