Germany will cease importing Russian coal on August 1 and Russian oil on December 31, signaling a significant change in the country’s energy supply, according to Joerg Kukies, state secretary in the German federal chancellery, during a conference in Sydney.

The primary problem ahead will be filling the massive vacuum left when the European Union weans itself off Russia’s 158 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas each year, according to Kukies.

“We will be off Russian coal in a few weeks,” he said at the Sydney Energy Forum, co-hosted by the Australian government and the International Energy Agency.

He claims that Russia once provided 40% of Germany’s coal and 40% of its oil.

“Anyone who knows the history of the Druzhba pipeline, which was already a tool of the Soviet empire over eastern Europe, ridding yourself of that dependence is not a trivial matter, but it is one that we will achieve in a few months,” Kukies added.

Germany is fast establishing LNG import facilities to assist cover the gas supply shortfall, but he said that although the United States and Qatar could send roughly 30 billion cubic meters of gas in LNG form to Europe, there was still a significant gap.

“We can’t just imagine this problem away,” Kukies remarked.

While Germany is committed to achieving net zero emissions and has just passed laws to promote the development of renewable energy projects, he believes gas will be critical to the transition.

Source: Reuters

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