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8:00 am: Europe has avoided the worst this winter

Germany has so far avoided the worst this winter. But without Russian gas or almost, a new year of uncertainties begins, as everywhere in Europe. With the war in Ukraine and the gradual closure of Russian gas pipelines to Europe, gas prices soared like production costs in the industry, the nerve of German growth, fueling fears of a major economic crisis.

But Europe’s largest economy has so far avoided such a scenario, with the help of public aid and major energy savings, coupled with efforts to do without the abundant and affordable gas from Moscow, on which it was once dependent. 55% before the conflict. To fill the winter reserves, Germany and its European neighbors have torn off cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar or the United States, much more expensive, conveyed by boat to port terminals: LNG imports in Europe jumped 60% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to think tank IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis).

Thanks to this strategy, “the worst scenarios for the winter of 2022/2023”, which predicted cuts and shortages, “did not happen”, notes Fabian Skarboe Ronningen, analyst at the energy watch firm Rystad Energy.

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