Liquid natural gas from the U.S. is not only more expensive than gas from a pipeline, but it is also extracted and transported under dubious environmental conditions.
With the first German shipping terminal for liquid natural gas in Wilhelmshaven, Germany is making itself a little more independent from Russian gas and expanding its sources. That’s a good thing. But there is no reason to celebrate. LNG from the U.S. is not only more expensive than pipeline gas, but it is also extracted and transported under dubious environmental conditions (keyword: fracking). Transporting LNG with crude oil-burning tankers is itself an environmental sin that can only be tolerated given the brutal Russian war of invasion against Ukraine.
Environmental groups are criticizing the speed of fossil fuel infrastructure projects and wish that this speed would instead be applied to abandoning coal. Another criticism is that the special ship for LNG, “Höegh Esperanza,” is expelling wastewater that has been treated with biocides.
We must keep in mind that Wihelmshaven is just a small step that quickly needs to be followed by others. Germany was obtaining more than 50% of its natural gas from Russia. One new terminal alone cannot offset those losses.