Without Russian exports, will we have enough gas next winter? The government is getting ready.
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The government is trying to store as much gas as possible. With this objective: that on November 1, 2022, our reserves will be 100% filled. It is strategic because these reserves provide on average a quarter of the country’s needs. Today, we are at almost 60%, it is more than usual at this time.
To find gas, France turns to African countries, the Middle East or Qatar. But it’s not that simple, because everyone in Europe is looking to buy it. Germany especially, which triggered its alert level on Thursday, because the country is even more dependent than us on Russian gas.
France is doing better than its neighbours, thanks to our import terminals, which allow us to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to France by boat without relying solely on traditional onshore gas pipelines. Equipment that our neighbors do not always have. But it is far from enough. Moreover, the government wants to speed up the installation of a floating LNG terminal from TotalEnergies in the port of Le Havre, which alone will be able to receive the equivalent of 10% of French consumption. The problem is that the work will not be finished for next winter. Commissioning is scheduled for September 2023.
The government wants to be reassuring on the issue of gas rationing, but next winter, it is not excluded. Moreover, the executive seeks to limit consumption: it will launch working groups on energy sobriety, with administrations but also businesses and large companies. The goal is to reduce the energy consumption of these structures by 10% within two years. They will be the last to be rationed. But, nevertheless, the government wants to encourage them to be sober this winter.
Elisabeth Borne also promised that to avoid a 45% explosion in the gas bill, a text will be published to extend the tariff shield until the end of the year.