“Putin’s tap cut, we’re there”, explains an expert in the face of the “gas crisis” in Germany

“Putin’s tap off, we’re there”, explained Thursday, June 23 on franceinfo Nicolas Goldberg, energy expert at Colombus Consulting, while Germany activated Thursday the “alert level” on its gas supply, which brings the country closer to rationing measures after the drastic drop deliveries from Moscow via the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Nicolas Goldberg calls for “more sobriety by accelerating renewable projects” and to himself “behave like an ant rather than a cicada” by saving energy.

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franceinfo: Is this an important signal sent by Germany?

Nicholas Goldberg: Indeed, it is an important signal. Then it’s not a big surprise. We have known since the start of the war that this embargo was hanging over us. There, it starts to materialize. There is Poland, Bulgaria which have been cut, France too. Russia has also almost halved its gas deliveries from a large gas pipeline that passes through northern Germany. Putin’s tap off, there we are. They go there gradually to increase prices and reduce volumes so that it does not penalize their finances. You have to tell yourself the truth. There, we are facing a gas tap cut off.

Is Europe struggling to take stock of the situation?

Absolutely. There’s a lot of energy savings that could be made with more sobriety by accelerating the renewable projects that are stuck and accelerating on energy efficiency. You have to understand that gas is stored. So any molecule of gas that we do not consume today, we can store it in gas storage. And gas storage in France is a quarter of annual consumption. Filling them is what makes it possible to spend the winter more peacefully.

“It is better to take the measure of this emergency, to save more energy, perhaps to give up certain things to behave like an ant rather than a cicada, because otherwise we risk having big problems when the wind blows. coming.”

Nicolas Goldberg, energy expert at Colombus Consulting

at franceinfo

Is there the beginning of an awareness and the beginning of a message from the authorities to the population?

Yes, we are less dependent on Russian gas. On the other hand, when Russian gas stops flowing, it impacts the price of any other molecule of gas that we import. So we still experience some effects. You have to realize that there is enormous competition for the liquefied natural gas that could arrive via these famous LNG terminals. It is extremely expensive. It is not sure that there is enough for everyone. So yes, we are less dependent on Russian gas. On the other hand, it has a price effect. And finding substitutes is complicated. Hence the need for sobriety and efficiency. And finally, I would add that we are going to depend a lot on gas to produce electricity this winter, because we have nuclear power, which is a little at half mast in France. So be careful, we can have problems on the gas. We can also have problems with electricity if we don’t make a massive switch to energy savings.

Compensating for gas-related energy production with non-fossil fuels, how long would that take today in France?

Today, in France, there are two-thirds of fossil fuels in final energy consumption. The goal is to get rid of it by 2050. We can speed up certain things. It depends on the sectors. Electricity, for example, is almost carbon-free in France. There, the fossil returns because of the nuclear unavailabilities. And we can clearly see that in certain sectors, we can separate ourselves from fossil fuels. We can electrify certain processes such as heating, such as transport with the electric vehicle. There are substitutes. We have to make this energy transition. It is clear that this has to be done for climatic reasons, but also for reasons of security of supply. Before, we just looked at what was not expensive. Now we have to look at what is not expensive and what secures the supply. And always think about saving energy because we can’t replace everything.