German disaster office warns of 'regional power supply disruptions' in early 2023

The Local (news@thelocal.com)
The Local ([email protected]) • 21 Nov, 2022 Updated Mon 21 Nov 2022 09:22 CEST
image alt text
Photo by Matthew Henry / Unsplash

Ralph Tiesler, from Germany’s Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), said over the weekend that Germany could have to reckon with local power shortages in the winter.

Rather than a nationwide blackout, Tiesler said there would likely be local power shutdowns in the coming months - especially early next year -  due to potential electricity shortages.

There could be “a regional and temporary interruption of the power supply,” he said.

The cause for this would likely be the targeted, temporary shutdown of the networks by the operators in order to protect the overall grid, said Tiesler.

"The risk of this increases from January and February, so we expect that from then on there will be interruptions in the power supply some time," Tiesler said.

In addition to targeted shutdowns, Markus Lewe, president of the German Association of Cities and Towns (Städtetag), told The Berliner Morgenpost on Monday, "In the winter, it can happen that the power temporarily fails in certain regions," 

Lewe, who’s also the mayor of Münster, said he does not currently expect longer electrical outages.

"There won't be power outages all over Germany for days on end. But we have to be prepared for special crisis situations, both citizens as well as the cities themselves."

Germany's grid authority has also previously warned that if gas shortfalls led people to switch to using electrical heaters en masse, then certain regions could be at risk of short blackouts as the power grid could become overloaded.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What to do in Germany if there’s a power outage

In order to avoid such scenarios, the federal, state and local governments would have to "cooperate even more intensively," Lewe said.

In the event of a power outage, most cities’ emergency services have emergency power supplies.

Fire departments and rescue services, hospitals and care facilities usually have emergency power generators, which are launched in the event of outages.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said last month that the government has made good provisions for the coming "winter of challenges". 

He said that keeping two nuclear power plants online would help ensure "that there will never be a shortage of electricity in Germany".

Economics Minister Robert Habeck has also recently said: "We have a very high level of supply security in the electricity system in Germany".

Following Tiesler’s statement, the Federal Network Agency (BNA) quickly eased fears of a full-scale electrical outage, stating that "Germany has one of the world's most reliable power supply systems," a spokesman told the Funke-Mediengruppe newspapers.

"There are numerous mechanisms and reserves to stabilize the power grid in tense situations,” he added. “The likelihood of forced shutdowns being necessary in the coming winter is low.”

READ ALSO: How German cities are preparing for potential blackouts

Vocabulary

Power shortage - (der) Stromausfall 

Energy shortage - (die) Energieknappheit

Switched off - abgeschaltet

Limited - begrenzt

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

More

Comments

The Local ([email protected]) 2022/11/21 09:22

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also