Scholz under pressure as Putin’s war on gas may cause lights to go out in Berlin

Russian military vehicles seen inside the Zaporizhzhia plant

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The sanctions against Russian gas, which power the city’s historic gas streetlights, could see an energy emergency declared this autumn.

The German capital has the world’s largest surviving gaslight network, as the Victorian lighting method has been mainly phased out elsewhere.

However, city officials are now moving to replace its 23,000 remaining gaslights over concerns Moscow could dial back its gas deliveries.

Benedikt Lux, a Green member of the transport committee in the city parliament, told Reuters: “The most important thing is to speed up their replacement by electric lights.”

Using electric rather than gas lighting will also be better for the environment.

As supplies continue to dwindle a Level Three gas emergency could be declared by the federal government and the gas lights could be turned off completely.

Defenders of the gas lighting argue that it adds to the culture of Berlin’s more distinctive and older neighbourhoods.

Bertold Kujath, head of Gaslight Culture, a foundation dedicated to their preservation, said: “Berlin is almost the last city in the world where you can take a night stroll and sip a coffee by gaslight.”

The gas produces power equivalent to some 4,500 kWh a year per lamp, costing the city €6.5million (£5.5million).

This is almost nothing compared to the cuts Germany will have to make to counteract the gas deficiency.

There are currently plans to preserve 3,000 gas lamps in the older districts of the city.

Other energy alternatives are being debated, including the controversial process of fracking.

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The practice is banned in many European countries, including Germany, for its negative impact on the environment.

Most Germans are far more in favour of wind energy expansion (81 percent) rather than fracking (27 percent).

Nuclear power has begun to be phased out by Germany, although this may be delayed due to the energy crisis.

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