Germany’s headlong leap into green energy has come back to bite them. Their windmills and solar panels won’t keep them warm this winter and Putin is more than happy to tighten the flow of energy. And it gets cold in Germany.
On Friday, The Ansbach Hometown Herald, a newspaper serving military families stationed at the U.S. Army Garrison in Ansbach, Germany, put out an alert on what they might expect this winter.
Due to the war in Ukraine, Germany (and much of the European Union) will likely be “rationing electricity and natural gas,” according to the report. And this could start as early as the fall.
The Herald cited a July 26 press release from the Council of the European Union, which warned that the potential supply crisis could result in “significantly reduced … gas deliveries from Russia and a serious risk of a complete halt, for which member states need to prepare immediately in a coordinated fashion and a spirit of solidarity.”
USAG Ansbach Directorate of Public Works Energy Office manager Brad Jennings told the Herald, “The EU Commission is recommending adoption of a natural gas only, at this time, reduction in usage of 15% which began August 1 and extends through the entire heating season (March 31, 2023).” He added, “We are working with our energy partners at IMCOM-E [Installation Management Command-Europe] to determine the implications of this reduction to the garrison.”
The article noted that EU energy costs “were about three to five times” higher last winter than the previous year.
“Our German utility partners are governed by a set of German regulations for energy emergency situations,” Jennings said. “With the potential loss of a large chunk of available energy, the local utility companies are required to follow Germany’s energy emergency plan.”
Under this plan, “hospitals, elder care centers, necessary businesses like grocery stores” will be prioritized.
Jennings explained that, “While we are a ‘priority’ customer based upon our negotiated energy contracts, there is the potential that we will have to endure large cuts in available power and heating.”
He continued, “We’ve probably all had to go without power and water for short periods…maybe even up to a week or two after a hurricane or other natural disaster, but this is a different story. The potential for mandatory energy usage reductions within our community is high under a situation where our utility providers are unable to supply 100% of our normal demand.
Measures could include adjustments to building temperatures and lowering water temperatures from showers and taps, he said.
Yes, most of us have endured weather-related power outages. What we haven’t experienced is the loss of our power by a foreign dictator who uses his ability to withhold energy as a political bargaining chip.
The war in Ukraine is driving home the reality that energy security is critical to national security. Germany and many other EU countries foolishly allowed themselves to become reliant on Russian natural gas and oil as they went all-in on their green energy dreams.
This has handed Russian President Vladimir Putin a tremendous amount of power. The economic and political consequences to the EU, should he choose to withhold deliveries entirely, would be devastating. This truly puts Putin in the catbird seat.
The EU’s ban on Russian coal imports went into effect last week and their ban on Russian oil will begin at the end of the year, according to Time Magazine. There is no such ban on natural gas, which the EU depends on “to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes.”
CNBC reports that as of April 2022, 31 percent of EU gas imports came from Russia. Although this is down from 45 percent in April 2021, it still leaves Europeans extremely vulnerable to the whims of a ruthless dictator.
It will be a long, cold and expensive winter in Europe.
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