German city to switch off street lighting due to energy crisis
Increasing number of German cities want to do without street lighting at night after gas supplies from Russia have been interrupted
The city of Achim in the German state of Lower Saxony announced Friday that there will be no more street lighting at night.
With this measure, Achim is following the example of other cities in an effort to save energy, as gas supplies from Russia have been interrupted due to tensions and recent explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines.
Mayor Rainer Ditzfeld said this move will likely draw criticisms, but they had to take this decision.
"We, the politicians and the administration, are aware that the decision to shut down can be seen controversially. But it is made with the best of intentions and makes the greatest possible contribution in this form," he told local media.
According to a statement by the city council, street lights will be switched off from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sundays to Fridays.
On weekend nights, lights will be out from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
This would result in a savings of about 46%, the city council said.
Crosswalks in public areas and a tunnel at the train station will continue to be illuminated.
However, it is not only cities and communities that are coming under pressure in the wake of the energy crisis, but also industry.
Companies may have to stop production
A survey by the employers' associations Nordmetall and AGV Nord showed that almost 25% of companies in the metal and electrical industry in northern Germany would have to stop production in the event of a gas emergency.
In addition, according to the survey, around half of the companies would have to put employees on short-time working.
26% of respondents even said they would have to cut staff in such a situation.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, is facing the biggest energy crisis ever, due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Russia halted gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline earlier this month, in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war on Ukraine. Nord Stream 2 pipeline was suspended in February by the German government, in response to Russia’s threats against Kyiv.
Following recent explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday gas will no longer be supplied from Russia “for the foreseeable future.”
The government introduced a package of energy-saving measures to decrease consumption by 20% and fill up gas storage facilities to 95% by Nov. 1, to be prepared for winter.
Before the war in Ukraine, Russia was supplying 55% of Germany’s natural gas, but the government managed to reduce that reliance to 26% at the end of June, according to official figures.