(DW) – The lumber mill quiets only once Christian Rösgen has turned off his phone. The owner of this mill in a small town close to Bonn in western Germany removes his headset and begins telling stories of Germans stockpiling wood out of fear of the energy crisis looming due to the war in Ukraine. One customer just swapped out his brand-new gas heater for a pellet stove in order to be self-sufficient; Rösgen's supplier, the pellet plant, has run out of stock. The pellets of compressed sawdust are now pumped directly into delivery trucks while still hot. The plant can barely keep up with production.
Rösgen told DW these stories just a day after the German Weather Service reported the country's heat record for this year — 40 degrees Celsius. But even with those temperatures, Germans are gearing up for a cold winter.
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Nearly half of all homes in Germany are heated with gas. Ever since Russia started waging war in Ukraine, however, supplies of the fuel have become unreliable. The price has jumped and supply cuts through the strategically important Nord Stream 1 pipeline remain unsolved.