Germany plans winter ‘warm-up spaces’ in case of gas shortage — RT World News
The measure being considered by a number of German cities is aimed at those struggling to afford high heating costs, media reports
Gas shortages and soaring heating costs could prevent many Germans from paying their heating bills this winter, German tabloid Bild reported on Sunday, adding that the country’s Association of Towns and Municipalities has suggested providing to the most vulnerable people in public services. « warm up » places instead. Some German cities have already implemented such plans, the newspaper adds.
The city of Ludwigshafen in western Germany is set to convert its Friedrich-Ebert-Halle arena into a giant warm-up hall, Bild reported, citing the city’s mayor, Jutta Steinruck. The facility which hosted sporting events, exhibitions and concerts and served as a vaccination center during the Covid-19 pandemic will now potentially save people from freezing winter temperatures, according to media reports.
“We are currently preparing for all emergency scenarios for the fall and winter,” the mayor told Bild. The measure comes as the Association of Towns and Municipalities calls for similar practices to be adopted by cities across Germany.
“No one can say exactly how dramatic the developments will be,” association chief Gerd Landsberg told the tabloid, adding that consideration should be given to establishing “heat islands” and “warm rooms, where people can stay, even in very cold winters.
According to Bild, Germany could not only experience another price hike in the coming winter, but also face a severe energy supply shortage in case Russia completely cuts off its gas supply for some reason. any. Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was guaranteeing a reliable energy supply for Europe, adding that European customers would no longer see « off scale » utility bills.
The West German towns of Neustadt, Frankenthal and Landau also planned to create “heat islands” of themselves for the winter, according to Bild. Other energy-saving strategies include turning off outdoor lighting in public buildings and traffic lights at night.
The city of Düsseldorf plans to reduce heating temperatures for fall and winter to save energy, Bild reported. Use of air conditioning in the summer should also be reduced, he added.
Last month, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom cut throughput on the Nord Stream gas pipeline to 40% of capacity, citing operational risks after Canada failed to return a gas pipeline turbine sent there for maintenance.
Ottawa said on Saturday it would return the turbine to Germany, following requests from Berlin. Moscow had previously said Europe’s gas supply would increase if the turbine was returned. However, on July 11, Gazprom must shut down Nord Stream for 10 days for scheduled maintenance. During this time, all gas flows through the pipeline will stop.
The developments come amid attempts by the EU to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian energy amid a standoff over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
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