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If you are planning your summer vacation on Lake Garda, you will probably notice an unusually low water level this year. 70 cubic meters of water per second are currently being diverted from the lake towards the Po Valley. There, desperate farmers are trying to brave Italy’s drought of the century. With water from Lake Garda, they are trying to keep the Po from drying up completely and save part of the harvest.
The Italian government sees itself in a comparatively better position with regard to natural gas supplies. Prime Minister Mario Draghi is adamant that Italy is better prepared for a Russian supply stop than its European neighbors, and that no bottlenecks are to be feared in the winter. Isabel Cuesta Camacho took a closer look at how Italy has managed to become less dependent on Russia within a short period of time.
Canada announced on Saturday that it would return the turbine serviced there for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany. Russia had argued that the missing turbine was one of the reasons for curtailing gas supplies. Despite the sanctions and clear criticism from Kyiv, Siemens wants to install the turbine in Russia as quickly as possible. Maintenance work on the pipeline will start today and is expected to last about ten days.
In Germany, the discussion about the enforcement of the Digital Services Act (DSA) could become complicated. The DSA stipulates rules for which very different authorities are responsible in Germany – and for whose implementation many national requirements must be adjusted. Falk Steiner explains the enormous task the federal and state governments now face.
Italy: enough gas for the winter
Faced with the cut-off of Russian gas supplies, Italy affirms that it will be able to get through the winter without emergencies. In recent weeks, Italy has stepped up gas storage and increased its cooperation with African countries on gas supplies. The Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, continues to expect that Italy will be able to get through the winter without supply shortages. He already announced this in February (Europe.Table reported).
“In Italy, we are preparing for this winter on the energy front. The measures under consideration ensure that there will be no emergency next winter,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi also said at a press conference after the European Council in Brussels in late June. Italy’s dependence on Russian gas has dropped from 40 percent to 25 percent, Draghi said. Russia has systematically cut its gas supplies to Europe, starting June 15 with a 40 percent cut for Germany. On June 16, Russia supplied 15 percent less gas to Italy, and 50 percent less the following day.
Storage already tripled
After the meeting of the gas emergency committee at the end of June, the Ministry of Ecological Transition decided to tighten the measures. It commissioned the Italian transmission system operator Snam to supply the lacking volumes in order to reach the target of 5.4 billion cubic meters set for June. Meanwhile, Italy has more than tripled its storage levels. They currently stand at 60 percent. Italy has the second-largest gas storage capacity in Europe after Germany and, unlike the Federal Republic, also has strategic gas reserves. The reserves were created by law in 2000.