'Gas Is Scarce Commodity': Berlin Activates 2nd of Three Stages in Emergency Plan Amid Energy Crisis

© AP Photo / Joerg SarbachA worker inspects parts of the largest gas storage facility of Western Europe in Rehden, northern Germany
A worker inspects parts of the largest gas storage facility of Western Europe in Rehden, northern Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.06.2022
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany has launched the second stage of its emergency plan to reduce gas consumption amid the global energy crisis caused by Western sanctions against Russia, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday.

"Gas is a scarce commodity in Germany," Habeck told reporters, adding that Berlin planned to introduce a "gas-saving auction model," which would allow the country's energy sector to buy gas and, at the same time, reward companies abandoning it.

Earlier this spring, Berlin activated an emergency gas plan consisting of three stages: early warning, alert and emergency levels.
The first stage involves the creation of a coordination center and the development of measures for dealing with the deterioration of the situation. During the second stage, companies will independently take steps to reduce consumption or purchase additional volume of gas.
The phase also implies a possible withdrawal of gas from storage facilities. The final, third stage will grant the government a right to intervene in market activities to ensure energy security.
Gas stove - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.06.2022
Gas stove
On 24 February, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The West and its allies responded by imposing comprehensive sanctions against Russia, with the EU pledging to end its dependence on Russian energy supplies.
Subsequent disruptions in logistical and financial operations have undermined supply chains and led to a spike in energy prices worldwide. Russia's Gazprom has also significantly reduced its Nord Stream 1 gas supplies due to delays in maintenance work on turbines by German and Canadian companies, forcing EU countries to tap winter gas reserves and consider returning to coal production.
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