A giant thermos -- a vast insulated tank 45 meters (almost 150 feet) high, holding up to 56 million liters (14.8 million gallons) of hot water -- will help heat Berlin homes this winter, even if Russian gas supplies dry up. The new facility at Vattenfall's Reuter power station will hold water brought to almost boiling using electricity from solar and wind power plants across Germany. The 50 million euro ($52 million) facility will have a thermal capacity of 200 Megawatts. That is enough to meet much of Berlin's hot water needs in summer and about 10% of what is needed in winter. While it will be Europe's biggest heat storage facility when completed at the end of this year, an even bigger one is already planned in the Netherlands. Berlin's top climate official, Bettina Jarasch, said the faster such heat storage systems are built, the better. "The war in Ukraine and the energy crisis teach us that we need to be faster," said Jarasch. "First of all to become climate neutral. And secondly, to become independent (of energy imports)."

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