• Germany's news in English

Electricity network head says no danger of blackouts

The Local · 25 Apr 2011, 14:55

Published: 25 Apr 2011 14:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kurth told Der Spiegel the debate over whether the lights across Germany will be kept on at all times was, “often superficial and interest-led.”

When asked whether the fear of blackouts was nonsense, he said, “It certainly has a justified basis. But the way in which the topic of security of supply is being discussed is often not helpful. We have only started to gather data on what effect the shut-down of eight nuclear power stations at the same time is having on electricity supply.”

Germany’s oldest nuclear power stations were closed down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, while all such stations will now be subjected to safety checks.

Kurth said he could not simply sit back and say everything would be fine, admitting that never before in his experience had so much reliable electricity supply been removed from the network so quickly. But he said there was no danger of a blackout.

“Our checks show that the effect of the moratorium is manageable. Although responsible and prudent action is more necessary than ever,” he said.

He was asked whether the warnings from Johannes Teyssen and Jürgen Großmann, heads of electricity generators EON and RWE respectively, that the network could collapse, were responsible.

“I think that using the fear of a blackout is less than rewarding,” he said.

“Technically and also legally, there are many possible methods of directing and steering power stations in order to prevent a collapse of the network,” he said.

One possible problem could be the greater Hamburg region this summer, he admitted. He said the Krümmel and Brünsbuttel nuclear power stations have been shut down for repairs while the Unterweser nuclear power station has been closed by the moratorium.

The Brokdorf one is set to be closed for checks between June 11 and 30, which could endanger continuity of supply.

Story continues below…

He said there were various options such as delaying the work slated for Brokdorf, or taking on supplies from other power stations for the region. It was necessary to work out an approach now, he said.

Other, longer term measures could include the re-firing of coal powered electricity stations to stabilise the network, which he admitted would not be ideal.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:06 April 25, 2011 by jmclewis
Only time will tell.
07:52 April 26, 2011 by toemag
Why do I see our neighbouring countries who will be more than glad to sell us their excess power reducing said power if we aren't willing to pay what they are asking :-/
13:10 April 26, 2011 by auniquecorn
Next headline (Electricity Prices double to avoid blackouts)
20:20 May 4, 2011 by DanielS
Here in Romania we will continue to develop nuclear facilities. Next to you, in France, there are a lot of nuclear power plants. I don¦#39;t want to look more to the map for nuclear reactors into Europe. Anyway, Germany safety without nuclear reactors is an illusion in a nuclear Europe.

Your politicians are not really to be blame, because they follow people will in this matter. Good luck and good night Germany!
Today's headlines
Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd