August 2022
Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict and the sanctions placed on Russia, Germany has been rapidly moving away from reliance on Russian pipeline gas. The nation’s federal energy agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, denied the approval of the US$1.2bn Nord Stream 2 project at the final stage after the pipeline completed.

By 2025, Germany is forecast to have completed its plan to construct or contract seven pieces of LNG import infrastructure – two onshore and five FSRU units. Combined, the target imports for 2025 is 18Mtpa. The government is pushing to rapidly approve permits and environmental plans for all of the facilities proposed.

In the long term, Germany is expected to continue to grow its import capacity to 25-30Mtpa of LNG. The contracted FSRUs have been rapidly chartered and will slowly be replaced by onshore terminals. At this stage permits have required adaptability to hydrogen infrastructure as well as natural gas, attempting to future proof Germany’s rapid and large-scale gas investment.

As part of the EU’s climate plan, the EU27’s environmental targets now aim to reduce domestic emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and net zero by 2050. The target has been improved from the previous 40% target from 2016.

This Nationally Determined Contribution does not bring it into line with a successful Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target. The EU also targets a combined US$600bn on climate action, including decarbonisation and renewable energy.

Germany has committed to net-zero by 2045. It has not submitted its own nationally determined contribution (NDC) but is part of the EU’s targets. A 2021 constitutional court ruling found that Germany’s targets under the Paris Agreement were not strong enough.

A rapid amendment to the country’s climate law has seen Germany establish targets of a 65% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2030, an interim target of 88% below 1990 levels by 2040, and   carbon neutrality by 2045. Further, the amended law includes stricter binding sectoral emission budgets to 2030, with most of the additional reductions needed in the energy and industry sectors.

The German government had agreed to bring forward Germany’s exit from coal “ideally” to 2030, from a previous date of 2038. The government also said it would ensure that renewables accounted for 80% of Germany’s electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2035, up from 45% in the past year.

This would mean installing 200GW of solar and at least 30GW of offshore wind capacity by that year, with around 2% of Germany’s territory to be set aside for wind turbines. Germany will also aim for 10GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030.

The shortage of gas from Russia and wilful discarding of emissions-free nuclear power stations has forced the government to generate energy by any other means possible, including coal-fired power. However, it has not loosened its climate targets and intends to meet the EU targets. As a result, LNG will be critical in returning to a low-coal energy mix once the terminals are constructed.

Germany recently sealed a long-term agreement with Qatar for the supply of LNG. Germany does not plan to end its reliance on Russian natural gas until mid-2024. Europe’s largest economy is fast-tracking construction of two LNG import terminals, a proposal that was previously dismissed as being too costly but now underpins Germany’s long term gas demand trend.

Germany is spending US$1.7 billion to import more LNG from the US and Qatar after blocking the completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe. For the energy sector, a reduction of emissions by 61% by 2030 vs 1990 is expected under the Climate Action Plan. Aside from the interruption of the Ukraine conflict, Germany was well on-track to meet its climate targets despite the reduction in nuclear power.



In 2021, Germany imported over 63% of its energy requirements in the form of fossil fuels. German coal is no longer primarily domestically sourced, with only lignite still produced locally. German energy imports from Russia specifically are vast.

Gas represents 27% of Germany’s overall energy mix, and Russian imports totalled 55% of gas consumed in the country. Coal represented 18% of energy use in Germany (across both hard coal and brown coal), 53% of which came from Russia. Oil products represented 32% of energy consumption, with 25% coming from Russian sources.

Lowering reliance on the Russian energy sphere is a high priority for the German energy ministry. Nord Stream 1, one of the nation’s major supply pipelines for natural gas, has fallen to 22%, or 33mcmpd, from full capacity of 170mcmpd. Gas supplied over 17% of electricity in 2020.

Germany’s avoidance of nuclear power has slowed the divorce from Russian energy sources. Representing 6% of energy in 2021, the remaining three nuclear power plants were on schedule to be shut down toward the end of 2022.

The energy crunch and dubious gas supply has opened the door to debate over whether plant lives could be extended to 2024. However, the current ruling party triumvirate includes the Greens, for whom nuclear power opposition is a fundamental cornerstone..

The Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal will have a capacity of around 5.5Mtpa of LNG. Uniper has received to begin construction of the terminal from the beginning of July 2022. The project aims to be commissioned for the winter of 2022-2023.

Lower Saxony’s government has pushed hard to approve the permits needed at eight times normal speed. The terminal will be expanded once the initial steps are completed with a more permanent and expanded onshore terminal. The project also includes a 30km pipeline construction to integrate into the gas network.

The Brunsbüttel terminal, German LNG, includes an FSRU with an LNG capacity of 5.6Mtpa, with room to expand to 7Mtpa. Including a 2.5km pipeline, it targets operations in 2023. Another up to 80km of connecting pipelines may be needed. The Brunsbüttel terminal will be run by Dutch Gasunie, German bank KfW and utility RWE. Shell has signed up to use a ‘substantial portion’ of the terminal’s capacity.

At Stade, the Hanseatic Energy Hub is a little further behind on the timeline, as an onshore facility. The privately owned facility is expecting an FID in 2023 for a terminal with a capacity of 9.6Mtpa. Bookings have already opened in the facility for first operations in 2026. The dates may be brought forward as far as 2024 if the German government keeps accelerated timelines for facility approvals and construction.

Stade has also become the home of one the government’s chartered FSRU ships, supporting the case for LNG infrastructure at the port. The port approvals are expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The FSRU is expected to have a capacity of 5.5Mtpa similar to the ships at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel.

The port of Lubmin may house a fifth FSRU owned by TotalEnergies. The vessel will have a capacity of 3.2Mtpa, and can take vessels of up to 170,000m3. Owned by the privately owned Deutsche ReGas, the import terminal at Lubmin could be operational as early as December 2022. TotalEnergies also said it could provide an additional two units to triple capacity to around 11Mtpa of LNG or 15bcmpa of natural gas.