German energy industry to receive dedicated radio frequency to weather blackouts
Clean Energy Wire
The German government has resolved a dispute between the energy sector and security services over ownership of a 450 MHz digital radio frequency, in favour of the energy companies. Energy industry group BDEW and local utility association VKU welcomed the move as a "success for the energy transition and for climate action," as the decision would allow for a further digitalisation and decentralisation of the energy system. Security services, such as the police, ambulances, firefighters and the military are allowed to co-use the frequency as long as it does not compromise the energy sector's needs. "This will allow us to maintain the high level of supply security and also the further expansion of charging infrastructure for e-cars," BDEW and VKU said, arguing that this would benefit Germany's economy as a whole. "Since the frequency will also work in case of a blackout, this decision makes an important contribution to protecting our critical infrastructure," the energy industry groups said.
The energy industry and security services had been competing for access to the dedicated frequency for over a year, with interior minister Seehofer arguing a secure broadband connection is "indispensable" for police, ambulances, firefighters and the German military. Proponents of an exclusive access for the energy industry, on the other hand, had argued that sharing the frequency would create difficulties for the safety of devices like smart meters and hinder the further digitalisation of Germany's energy system.