• 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

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)

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
Lion shot dead at Leipzig Zoo after breaking out of cage
Motshegetsi (l) und Majo. Photo: DPA

A young male lion was shot dead at Leipzig Zoo on Thursday afternoon after he broke out of his enclosure.

EU takes Germany to court for 'discriminatory' foreigner toll
A sign that reads "toll" along the Autobahn by Rostock. Photo: DPA.

The European Commission on Thursday said it is taking Germany to the EU Court of Justice because of the country's plan to impose a road toll that would mainly charge foreign drivers.

After 3-year trial, suspected neo-Nazi terrorist speaks out
Beate Zschäpe. Photo: DPA

Beate Zschäpe, the only living member of an underground neo-Nazi cell accused of murdering ten people, has spoken to the court in Munich after three years of silence.

Green party wants only e-cars on Autobahn by 2030
Photo: DPA.

The environmentalist Green party has an ambitious plan for German cars to be petrol- and diesel-free within the next 15 years.

Commerzbank to make one in five staff redundant by 2020
Photo: DPA

Germany's second largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2020 and withhold dividends to pay for a €1.1 billion restructuring.

Germany's favourite smoker wins battle against eviction
Photo: DPA

How a pensioner with a serious smoking habit won a years-long fight for his right to keep his home - and his favourite pastime.

Thousands evacuated after WWII bomb found in Cologne
File photo of a Second World War bomb: DPA

Several thousands people were being evacuated from a district of Cologne just north of the old town on Thursday morning, after a Second World War bomb was found in a parking lot.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
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
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
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
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd