• Germany's news in English

Fear of power grid collapse grows

The Local · 27 Nov 2012, 13:47

Published: 27 Nov 2012 13:47 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Critical situations such as dangerous power fluctuations have "increased dramatically overall," according to a government report seen by financial daily Handelsblatt.

The Federal Network Agency and Federal Cartell Office are due to present their “Monitoring Report 2012” on Wednesday. The paper reported that Germans should expect the country's electricity network to be less reliable.

A primary cause of the precariousness was, the report said, the rising amount of power being taken from renewable sources such as wind or sun, which fluctuate more than traditional energy sources.

To compensate for dips in output from greener power sources, grid operators have had to increase how hard power plants are working accordingly, to fill in during busy periods, or quickly power down plants in times of overcapacity.

Adding to this the fact that Germany is trying to switch to using more renewable sources, but doing so very slowly, experts are concerned that the whole network is teetering on the brink of collapse.

By way of example, Handelsblatt used an area between the Lower Saxon Sottrum area, and Borken in the central state of Hesse. In 2011 the stretch experienced 319 hours in which power was in danger of cutting out. This was 1,242 percent higher than the previous year.

Story continues below…

Between Remptendorf, in Thuringia, and Redwitz in Bavaria, though, there was just 1,727 hours in the entirety of 2011 where power was under threat.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:30 November 27, 2012 by auslanderus
Who is going to pay for the damages when in the middle of winter the lights go out and there is no power for hours? What about the people on life support in hospitals or those at home that need the power for pumps to help people breath? What about the frozen water pipes that break for no heat? Hows about the edlerly when they have no heat? Turn off the power plants and replace then with what?
14:41 November 27, 2012 by raandy
This will be the apocalypse for Germany.
15:03 November 27, 2012 by pelliot
The energy policy in Germany is being driven by publicity seeking politicians and green activists -- with complete disregard for the complexities facing a stable power grid. These idiots should move to their own village which relies solely on wind and solar and leave the rest of us alone.

I am not anti-green energy -- but I know its limits. The reality is, until high capacity battery technology improves and is available to the masses the vast majority of our electricity must come from nuclear, coal and gas power plants to ensure grid stability.
22:50 November 27, 2012 by pepsionice
Lets put this in the right context.....when Italy is considered more reliable for power being there....than Germany....then there's something wrong. Every single German ought to stand up and recognize this right away. The bottom line is grid-trust (my term for this mess). When you start to say that a dozen towns in Germany may lack 180 hours next year in grid potential....you need to ask why and grasp what you are accepting in life.

In North Korea....you get roughly three hours of power per day in the vast majority of the country. In the best neighborhoods....you have full power all year-round. But roughly ninety percent of North Korea rarely gets more than three hours per day. If the standard in Germany starts to become twenty-two hours a day.....it might change your prospective on life.
03:00 November 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Seems like Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde are not telling us everyting. Where is all the money really going?
12:39 November 30, 2012 by truth is treason
UN Agenda 21 comes to Germany. Maybe we should not shut down all these power plants that emit dangerous Dihydrogen oxide (H2O) steam, that is the white gas coming out of the towers. We if the nuclear power stations shut down the power for domestic needs then it will be welcome to quick certain deaths from cold far greater than slow nuclear contamination IF an accident happens.
Today's headlines
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 town, 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.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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