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Germans Brace for Colder Apartments, Dim Streets This Winter

From Berlin to small towns, officials and companies are cutting back on energy use with gas in short supply. 

The darkened Altes Palais with its facade illumination turned off in Berlin, Germany on July 27.

The darkened Altes Palais with its facade illumination turned off in Berlin, Germany on July 27.

Photographer: Omer Messinger/Getty Images

Corrected

While another heat wave rolls over Europe, Germany is preparing itself for a long, cold winter as an energy crisis caused in part by Russia’s war on Ukraine drags on. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already reduced natural gas deliveries to the country via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 80% and has threatened to cut Germany off from gas supplies completely. Almost half of all households in Germany use natural gas as their primary means of heating, and Russia until recently  accounted for 55% of the country’s gas imports. Replacing the dwindling supplies from Russia with gas from elsewhere in a few months is next to impossible, given the lack of infrastructure such as pipelines or LNG terminals.