Background: Natural gas: the central pillar for Germany’s energy supply

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Natural gas: the central pillar of Germany’s energy supply

About half of German households cover their heating needs with natural gas. Also for many cooking.

Photo: DPA

Gas is used to generate electricity, as a fuel or as a heat source. Information on what is currently the second most important energy source in Germany.

Berlin. Natural gas is the second most important energy source in Germany after oil. The combustible natural gas mixture is stored underground and often mixes with petroleum, since both are formed in a similar way.

The gas is used to generate electricity, as fuel for ships and motor vehicles or as a heat supplier. About half of German households cover their heating needs with natural gas.

The mixture of substances is non-toxic, colorless and odorless and consists mainly of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), which, along with carbon dioxide (CO2), contributes significantly to global warming – even when natural gas is compared to other fossils. According to the National Academy of Sciences, fuels such as coal or oil should achieve a better climate balance in the Leopoldina.

According to the German Institute for Economic Research, consumption in 2020 was around 86.8 billion cubic meters. The most important customers were households and industry, each with 29 percent, and the energy industry (28 percent). Since domestic production accounts for only a small part of total consumption, Germany imported about 95 percent in 2021 – mostly from Russia, Norway and the Netherlands.

The most important connection to Russian natural gas is the 1,224-kilometer Nord Stream pipeline, which went into operation at the end of 2011 and runs from the Baltic Sea to Lubmin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). In the meantime, the volume of deliveries through this pipeline has decreased significantly. Berlin stopped the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 parallel pipeline shortly before Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Norway supplies its natural gas by pipeline through the North Sea.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220623-99-766750/3

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