A study published on Tuesday has found the German economy risks major damage should Russia end the energy exports to the country it has become dependent upon, with a possible near-€200 billion wiped off of its economy within six months should Moscow turn off the tap.
Vladimir Putin’s nation has already drastically reduced the amount of gas it is supplying the central European state with seemingly in response to ongoing tensions between the two countries, leaving German authorities warning that they may be forced to ration supplies to keep the lights on. Things are hard now in the summer, but stand to become considerably worse should the shortage continue into the winter months when gas usage soars.
According to the study commissioned by the Association of Bavarian Business should Putin and co. decide to push even harder on energy than it presently is and cut Germany off completely from its supply of gas, the consequences for the country’s economy would be devastating.
The study estimates that such a cut-off would result in the loss of €193 billion within six months, equivalent to around a 12.7 per cent contraction in the German economy as a result of the energy shortage.
“Overall, it can be seen that a delivery stop means that we are heading towards a recession, with all the consequences for employment and social cohesion in our country,” a press release published by the business association reads.
“We therefore urge that a natural gas embargo be prevented as far as possible,” the text continues. “Should there nevertheless be a delivery stop, the federal load distributor must ensure that the economic damage is kept to a minimum.”
Regardless of whether or not it is possible to prevent Putin’s Russia from cutting Germany off from its supply of gas, the Association of Bavarian Business ultimately concludes that German authorities need to work hard to kick its foreign energy addiction that has landed it in such a bad situation in the first place.
This is far from an original request, with former U.S. President Donald Trump having previously told the country in 2018 that it needed to get away from Russian gas or risk undermining the national security of itself and its allies.
However, even after Russia has cut the supply of gas being sent to the state, resulting in a crisis endangering the country’s power grid, officials have been dragging their heels in regards to diversifying its portfolio of energy sources.
While the climate-obsessed government of the country has said that it will start relying more heavily on coal, officials in the state have now repeatedly said that they will not delay the decommissioning of the nation’s three remaining nuclear power plants.
This is despite such a move receiving support not only from Germany’s opposition parties, but from the upper echelons of the green agenda-loving European Commission.
“There are still three nuclear power plants operating in Germany, this corresponds to 25% of their electricity consumption,” Europe’s Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, reportedly said regarding the plan.
“Rather than deciding to cut them at the end of the year as provided for in the coalition agreements, we can perhaps say to ourselves that we will continue them for one or two years in order to solve this problem.”