Gas prices for consumers in Europe's largest economy will remain high for another year in the wake of the energy crisis, Germany's Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck has said.
"I hope that things will already be better toward the end of 2023," Habeck told the German Press Agency (dpa) on Wednesday. However, he added: "We will still have to endure higher prices."
After that period, Germany's LNG infrastructure will likely be developed enough that sufficient replacements for Russian gas can be imported, thereby also regulating prices, Habeck said.
Gas prices in Europe have already fallen significantly, after peaking at the end of August. European TTF (Title Transfer Facility) gas futures were trading at around 80 euros (85 U.S. dollars) per megawatt hour on Wednesday, down from almost 350 euros.
To secure Germany's gas supply, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are being constructed to create new infrastructure for imports. In mid-December, the country's first site for the operation of a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) was officially opened in Wilhelmshaven.
"If we manage to expand this further at the current pace, then we will reconnect Germany to the world market," Habeck said. "And then we will also get world market prices that are significantly below what we have now."