Switzerland faces a potential gas shortage next winter, warns Switzerland’s Federal Council. Reduced consumption or rationing cannot be ruled out, it warns.
At a press conference in Bern on Wednesday, economy minister Guy Parmelin said that there is a very real risk of a gas shortage over winter, reported RTS.
Around three quarters of the gas used in Switzerland comes from Germany, said Parmelin. If storage facilities cannot be filled as planned a shortage in Switzerland during winter cannot be excluded. In addition, Swiss gas companies must store gas abroad because there is nowhere in Switzerland to store it. Germany (23.8 billion m3), Italy (15.7), France (11.7) and Austria (8.2) all have significant natural gas storage capacity, according to the Swiss gas industry association. Germany ranks fourth in the world for gas storage capacity. Only the US, Ukraine and Russia have greater storage capacity. The 23.8 billion m3 Germany can store is around a third of its annual consumption.
In Switzerland, gas is mainly used for home heating, which means households are likely to be affected if supplies run low. Because of this the federal government has launched an appeal to the public to reduce gas consumption. Companies that are able to switch from gas to mazout are being asked to switch over to mazout, despite its high cost.