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Germany forced to buy Austrian electricity

Published: 05 Jan 2012 11:12 GMT+01:00

According to Die Welt newspaper, grid operator Tennet, which runs a huge section of the German national electricity grid, was forced to tap energy from Austria on December 8 and 9 last year to guarantee the stability of its supply. The transaction has been confirmed by the Federal Network Agency.

Austrian providers were forced to put an old oil power station near the town of Graz back online to export the power to Germany.

Following an intense national debate in the wake the March’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, Germany shut down eight of its nuclear power stations last summer, and put five old conventional power stations back on the grid to cover the high-consumption winter months.

A spokeswoman for Tennet told the paper that a storm system caused a wind-energy spike in the north of the country on those December days, which couldn’t be transported south because of the lack of connections. Also, a small defect meant that the nuclear power station Gundremmingen in Bavaria had to be shut down temporarily at that time.

The spokeswoman called the resulting decision to import Austrian energy “a precautionary measure.”

Tennet operates a section of the network that stretches in a long, central strip of Germany from the Danish border in the north to cover the whole of Bavaria up to the Alps in the south. The unusual long and narrow shape of Tennet’s zone means that it is particularly prone to bottlenecks of electricity transport from north to south.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:44 January 5, 2012 by pepsionice
Get used to it....when the nuke plants are turned off....you will be buying power from lots of folks.
15:07 January 5, 2012 by hanskarl
@ pepsionice - spot on!! Everyone saw this coming except the tree huggers and hand wringers.
15:26 January 5, 2012 by dbert4
Sorry boys, you're wrong. There will be growing pains on the way to German green power. They are trying, they will succeed. Preferable to those utilizing the "head in the sand" approach.
17:38 January 5, 2012 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Better electricity from Austria than gas from Russia.
17:44 January 5, 2012 by frankiep
@dbert4 - NO. We are absolutely right. Rational people have been saying from the beginning that getting rid of all nuclear power would result in Germany having to go, hat in hand, to other countries and that as a result of this that energy prices would begin to skyrocket. This is now happening. The ones with their "heads in the sand" are those who continue to deny this despite stories like this.

Luckily the winter here in Germany has been mild thus far.
18:52 January 5, 2012 by Jeffvm
Ok, where do we demonstrate in favour of Atomkraft?
19:01 January 5, 2012 by carlm
The power shortage in Germany was/will be caused by environmentalists. Environmentalists, with few exceptions, are man hating morons. Green/sustainable energy is decades, if not centuries, away from being able to support our current high living standards. And the environmentalists couldn't care less. Only when their stupidity harms them will they, maybe, care. They're today's extremists/bigots/fascists and should be treated accordingly.
10:11 January 6, 2012 by delvek
This sort of stuff gets people killed!

Next World War is going to be over energy, brought on by lunacy in thinking millions of people can stay warm and live comfortable off of green power. Moderation people!
12:42 January 6, 2012 by maxbrando
If I were in charge in Austria, I wouldn't sell you germans a damn thing. Freeze your butts off.
19:05 January 6, 2012 by antymat
It will start getting funny, when Germany buys electricity from France, with theirs nuclear power stations here and there and everywhere. So much for "green energy".

Or, actually, Poland, which is going to build some Nuclear Power Stations despite German protests. BTW - how come Germans do nothing about French NPSes, but non-existing Polish ones are thorn in the eye?
21:14 January 6, 2012 by Steve Potts
Er hum... I wasn't aware that Germany was positioned in an area where it was likely to get earthquakes or a tsunami?

Where have all of their nuclear power reactors gone?
12:09 January 7, 2012 by dbert4
Come boys, if this situation was in America we would be hearing about the benifits of "globalization" and how much sense it makes to import power from other countries.
13:02 January 7, 2012 by hanskarl
More likely the President BO would bypass Congress in session and order it from China or some other far flung country. What is another $3 or $4 trillion among friends?
20:13 January 7, 2012 by cheeba
This should be ringing alarm bells on so many levels. The basis of Germany's wealth is the fact that it is one of the only rich countries that has maintained a robust manufacturing sector. That sector is totally dependent of a plentiful source of cheap energy. The cheapest energy Germany produces by far is nuclear, those plants are older and debt free, they have paid for themselves long ago and are now essentially producing free energy for the Country, much like in France. The price of energy will skyrocket once these plants are all de-commissioned, then what? The practical reality is that renewables are always going to be far more expensive, and push those high paying industrial jobs elsewhere.
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