Germans may switch to wood to heat their homes this winter as Russia cuts natural gas supplies, according to Deutsche Bank.
German households may switch to wood as a source of heating for their homes this winter as gas supplies remain tight and Russia holds back flows to Europe, Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.
The bank said it expects German gas consumption to be 10% below 2021 levels thanks to private household savings and high gas prices. He also noted that coal and lignite could replace natural gas in the industrial energy sector.
“There are many elements of uncertainty, especially around our assumptions about supply from other countries and demand,” the note said.
Deutsche’s latest update comes as Europe braces for a potentially colder-than-usual winter and as the Russia-Ukraine conflict leaves open questions about the future stability of natural gas flows. Moscow has already cut off supplies to several countries, including Bulgaria and Poland, over refusal to make payments in rubles, and the EU is concerned that the bloc will not be able to provide enough energy without an alternative source.
And the outlook shows no sign of improvement. Gazprom, the Russian state-owned oil giant, sent mixed messages on Wednesday about whether gas flows to Nord Stream 1 would be restored in the near future after it was shut down for scheduled maintenance scheduled to end on July 21.
Deutsche Bank’s claim that households can use firewood for heating is not without merit. Due to a power outage last winter, Texas households have resorted to burning wood and furniture for heating. Such behavior of the consumer, according to Deutsche Bank, will lead to a further decrease in demand for gas in Germany.