Germany says it’s making progress on weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels and claims it will be entirely independent of Russian crude oil imports by late summer.
Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, said Sunday that they had reduced their share of Russian energy imports to just 12% for oil, 8% for coal, and 35% for natural gas.
A more significant challenge lies ahead: Weaning Germany from mother Russia’s natural gas. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany got more than half her natural gas via imports from Russia. Today, that share is down to 35%, partly due to getting more from Norway and the Netherlands.
To cut the Russian ties even faster, Germany plans to speed up the construction of terminals for liquified natural gas, or LNG. The Energy and Climate Ministry plans to put several floating LNG terminals (as shown above) into operation as early as the end of this year. That’s quite an ambitious timeline that the ministry has acknowledged “requires a tremendous effort from everyone involved.”
Deutschland has resisted calls for an EU boycott of Russian natural gas. Last week, it closely watched with worry as Moscow immediately halted natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they rejected Russian demands to pay for gas in rubles. Government officials throughout the EU called those moves by Russia “energy blackmail.”
The Central Bank of Germany has said a total cutoff of Russian gas could mean five percentage points of lost economic output and higher inflation.
Still, it’s a small price to pay to be out from underneath Russia’s unpredictable thumb.