August 7, 2022

“You Can’t Switch Off Death” – German Crematoriums Warn Of Energy Crisis

Crematoriums developing contingency plans for high NatGas costs, risk of shortages

It still might be peak summer, yet German undertakers operating crematoriums warn they’re at risk of running out of natural gas amid the unprecedented energy crunch.  

A lot of Germany is feeling any risk of strain from Russia’s squeeze upon NatGas’ deliveries which has worried Svend-Joerk Sobolewski, Germany’s cremation service consortium chairman, according to  Reuters .  

Sobolewski stated crematoriums are developing backup plans for high NatGas prices and the risk of shortages.

Ruskies NatGas supplies have been decreased to just  twenty percent of capacity   as prices jumped 30% last week and electricity prices soared to a record, which usually indicates undertaker costs are becoming more expensive.  

Germany’s undertakers’ association displays one million Germans expire each year, and about 75% are cremated. Compared with other European countries, Germany has the highest cremation rates.  

The association’s head, Stephan Neuser, said electric-powered furnaces could be an option, though a more immediate solution would be reducing the average temperature of stoves from the current 850 C (1, 562° F) to 750 degrees Celsius (1, 382° F). This represents a 10% savings upon NatGas, and he added more reductions could be made but need a special permit through state authorities.

Some furnaces have been switched off to save NatGas, while others are usually left on around the clock. May move by the industry to make more efficiencies ahead of exactly what could be a freezing winter.  

“ In the event of a gas failure, we would be able to continue operating the plants that are very hot … That means we could after that continue to work with reduced power, ” said Karl-Heinz Koensgen, who manages a crematorium in western Germany.

Sobolewski mentioned not all of the cremation services can decrease NatGas considerably. If facilities experience NatGas shortages in winter, a backlog of bodies might be seen as a limited number of ovens will be operating.    

“ You cannot switch off death, ”   he explained.

Suppose Nord Stream flows remain on 20%. In that case, NatGas storage facilities (currently) at 68% full won’t be able to reach the government’s target associated with 95% by Nov. 1 ) It would create bottlenecks in the cremation industry and popular economic turmoil could relax Europe’s largest manufacturing center.  

If the energy crisis worsens, Germans might have to bury their lifeless this winter and make use of firewood to heat houses.  

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