Wednesday 05 October 2022

Dutch on track for gas stock goal ahead of winter

Photo: Depositphotos

The Netherlands is on track to meet its target for gas storage ahead of the winter, according to energy experts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The government has set a target of filling gas storage to 80% of capacity by November 1 to ensure houses are warm through the winter. Europe is facing major concerns over a gas shortage due to the war in Ukraine and worsening relations with Russia, which supplies some 40% of the EU’s gas.

Gerben Hieminga, an energy markets economist with ING, told NOS Radio 1 Journaal that several solutions have allowed the Dutch to reach their target, including purchasing more gas from Asia and Norway and conserving more gas than estimated. ‘That combination of factors has resulted in the reduction of Russian gas being addressed,’ he said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate is now publishing a weekly update of the gas stock and gas consumption in the Netherlands. The latest numbers available show that 69.4% of gas storage is full.

Financial guarantees from the government have encouraged gas companies to put more in storage than they would be willing to otherwise. Gas prices are at record highs, which makes it financially unappealing for companies to store gas, as there is a risk the price will drop before they can sell the gas to consumers. Wholesaler GasTerra has stopped storing gas at the Norg facility in Drenthe because the prices are too high. The company wants the government to increase support.

Hieminga encourages the government to continue filling the reserves. ‘That 80 percent was only a goal to get parties moving. If you look historically, especially for the Netherlands, then 80 percent is on the low side,’ he says. The ministry is calling on consumers to use less gas and has given tips for how to do so, including lowering the thermostat and limiting showers to five minutes.

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