The flow of Russian gas to Europe can stop at any time.

German energy suppliers will soon have to pay for Russian natural gas again and want to transfer it in euros, which can then be exchanged for rubles.

It is uncertain whether Russia will accept this – since President Vladimir Putin instructed payment in rubles.

As the largest German gas importer, Uniper will find out about this with the next tranche in May.

But today Germany is less dependent on Russian energy supplies than in previous years - the reduction steps are proceeding so rapidly and faster than many expected.

Jan Hauser

Editor in Business.

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In previous years, the share of Russian gas imports has increased to 50 percent and more, now the share for Germany is slightly more than 30 percent and in the European Union even slightly lower.

This is because other countries can deliver more.

LNG (liquefied natural gas) in particular comes to Europe by ship, primarily from America and other countries.

The voyages of the LNG tankers, together with the volumes from Norway and the Netherlands, replace Russian pipeline gas.

It is not yet possible to say whether and how households and companies have also been saving energy.

The reduced consumption is mainly due to the high temperatures.

The Cologne economist Eren Çam cites other sources of supply as the main reason.

"LNG deliveries have increased very sharply this year and are helping to support the gas supply," says the head of energy commodities at the Energy Economics Institute (EWI) of the FAZ. He notes that LNG deliveries to the European Union from January to April increased by 39 percent to 411 terawatt hours.

On average from January 1 to May 11, Russian gas reaches a share of 28 percent, and LNG even slightly more, at 30 percent.

“We have to save massive amounts of energy”

One driver of this is the rise in energy prices around the world.

The increase in gas prices began even before the Ukraine war with a surge in demand around the world last year.

The higher commercial price makes it more attractive to source LNG from all parts of the world, which usually incurs higher processing and transport costs than pipeline gas.

As a result, America could become the largest liquid gas exporter by the end of the year.

Andreas Loeschel, Bochum professor of environmental economics, feels confirmed that a reduction in Russian gas is possible: "We are in good shape with the energy supply." Loesche is one of the economists who, with their macroeconomic study, predicted an energy embargo against Russia early on for " manageable”.

"Our blueprint with the study is being implemented step by step: Germany can do without Russian energy supplies," he now tells the FAZ.

The alternatives to Russian gas supplies are working better than expected, the storage tanks are being filled constantly and there are good weather conditions for renewable energies.

But the change is not over yet.

"The next important building block is the demand side: we have to save massive amounts of energy," says Loechel.

And how is that supposed to get better?

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is also calling for energy saving.

Economist Loechel relies on incentives from rising costs: "The high price is the most important signal to save energy."