Gas scenarios: Outlook improved with December update

The Initiative Energien Speichern e.V. (INES) presented the December update for the gas scenarios today. The scenarios show that Germany will get through the rest of the winter well if no extremely low temperatures occur. Although gas shortages still cannot be completely ruled out, their occurrence is considered less likely.

On November 21, 2023 at the latest, there was a sustained shift from injection to withdrawal in Germany. Since then, increasing quantities of gas have been withdrawn from storage to cover the sharp rise in gas consumption due to the temperature. However, due to moderate to warm temperatures, only a small amount of gas stored in Germany was used for supply in November. As a result, Germany was able to start December with an above-average fill level of 96 percent.

If temperatures in Germany remain in the warmer range as the winter progresses, the gas storage facilities will continue to be used only moderately in the updated gas scenarios. In warm temperatures, the gas storage level could have already reached its lowest level of 71 percent by the end of January. In medium to cold temperatures, however, the gas storage facilities are used extensively or heavily. The statutory filling level requirement of 40 percent can be met in the scenarios with normal or warm temperatures. At very cold temperatures, the filling level requirement is challenging. A gas shortage at extremely cold temperatures cannot be resolved in the scenario modeling.

A five-year comparison of temperatures in Germany shows that the temperatures for the modeling of extremely cold temperatures (EU weather year 2010) are significantly below the temperatures of recent years (2019 - 2022). A level development that can be derived from the temperatures of 2010 is less likely against the background of this temperature comparison.

INES Managing Director Sebastian Heinermann summarizes the December update for the gas scenarios as follows: "Mild temperatures in November have improved the initial situation for the rest of the winter. In our analyses, a gas shortage only occurs in extremely cold temperatures, the likes of which we have not seen in Germany for several years. Despite the recent cold temperatures and the resulting sharp rise in gas consumption, we are likely to get through this winter well."



The Initiative Energien Speichern e.V. (INES) continuously models the European gas markets in order to assess the security of gas supply. On this basis and taking into account the storage levels on December 1, 2023, three scenarios for the gas supply in Germany in winter 2023/24 were considered:

  • The first scenario is based on the temperatures of the EU weather year 2016 on a country-specific basis in order to consider normal temperatures.
  • Another scenario assumes "warm temperatures" as in the European winter of 2020.
  • A third scenario examines the gas supply for "cold temperatures" corresponding to the European winter of 2010.

The INES scenarios for gas supply in winter 2023/24 were published for the first time on April 19, 2023 based on data up to the end of March 2023. The December update is the fifth update of these scenarios. It takes into account the data situation up to the end of the previous month of November.

During the "summer phase" (May to October 2023), INES only publishes updates to the INES gas scenarios every two months. In winter, updates are published monthly. The next update is scheduled for January 16, 2024. As a special topic, there will be a review of the year entitled "A year without Russian pipeline gas imports".

A detailed explanation of the scenarios and results can be found in the presentation slides for the press conference and in the presentation documentation. In addition, all press conferences on the gas scenarios were recorded and can be viewed on the INES YouTube channel.

Current information on gas storage levels in Germany and in the individual federal states can be called up at any time via the INES storage map. In addition, storage data can be filtered not only according to different storage types (cavern and pore storage) but also according to gas quality (L/H gas and hydrogen).

Download Press Statement as PDF file

Pressemitteilung auf Deutsch lesen