Habeck has previously warned the situation is going to be Habeck has previously warned the situation is going to be “really tight in winter” without precautionary measures to prevent a gas supply shortage.

Germany has declared it is moving to the so-called "alert level" of its emergency gas plan as reduced Russian flows heighten fears of a winter supply shortage.

Germany will move to stage two of its three-stage plan. There is a high risk of long-term gas supply shortages in Europe.

Germany has seen a sharp fall in Russian gas supplies, prompting the country to warn that the situation is going to be very tight in winter.

Habeck said in a statement that cutting gas supplies is an attack on us by Putin.

This is something we defend ourselves against. It will be a rocky road for us as a country. He said that we are in a gas crisis even if you don't feel it yet.

Habeck warned of an extraordinary price rally and that gas was now a scarce commodity. Many consumers will be affected by this and it will become a big burden. Ha Beck said it was an external shock.

The market is still able to manage that disruption or demand without the need to resort, according to Germany's emergency gas plan.

State intervention measures are not called for in this phase. If the government judges that market fundamentals no longer apply, these kicks in.

Policymakers in Europe are currently scrambling to fill underground storage with natural gas supplies to provide households with enough fuel to keep the lights on.

The EU, which gets 40% of its gas from Russian lines, is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Germany sought to maintain strong energy ties with Moscow.

The first phase of Germany's emergency gas plan was declared on Mach 30 a month after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Gas suppliers were invited to advise the government as part of a crisis team, even though there were no disruptions yet. All gas consumers were told to reduce their consumption as much as possible.

Coal-fired plants could be used to make up for a cut in Russian gas supplies.

Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel and therefore the most important target for replacement in the pivot to alternative energy sources.

Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have all indicated that coal-fired plants could be used to compensate for a cut in Russian gas supplies.

The country must do everything it can to store as much gas as possible after the government decided to limit the use of natural gas.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said on Thursday that coal is on fire again. There was a time when producers were geared towards a lower demand future.

Speaking ahead of Germany's move to the alarm phase of its emergency gas plan, Hansen said the declaration would reaffirm the dilemma Europe finds itself in, with coal seen as a short-term fix.