Johannesburg (dpa) - Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck has reiterated that he believes the country's power supply is secure this winter, in the wake of a Russian gas supply cut due to the war in Ukraine.
There is no risk of blackouts due to a shortage of capacity, Habeck said on Thursday in Johannesburg, after a visit to the South African state-owned power utility Eskom.
Germany is even in a position to help out France with electricity, he said.
"The availability of energy for electrical power generation is assured for this winter," Habeck said.
However, he conceded that the government was worried about the possibility of cyberattacks disrupting supply. "We have to try to prevent that with everything we can muster," he said.
And there was another note of caution from Germany's Federal Network Agency, which warned that the country's households and industry consumed too much natural gas last week. "It has become colder and we have clearly missed the savings target in the last week," agency president Klaus Müller told dpa on Thursday.
"It remains the case that we have to save at least 20 percent gas over the winter. Last week the saving was just 13 per cent." For households, this could be explained by the low temperatures, but even adjusted for temperature, consumption was only 16.5% below the average of the last four years. In industry, too, gas consumption was too high for the first time in many weeks, he said.
"I urge all consumers to continue to use gas very sparingly." A gas shortage seemed less likely at the moment, but the danger had not been averted. "We must not become reckless," Müller said.
The forecast temperature for Germany this week is 2.4 degrees below the average of the last four years, according to the grid agency.
## Note to editors - Adds comments from the Federal Network Agency, which warned that the country's households and industry consumed too much natural gas last week.