12 Sep 2022, 13:35
Sören Amelang

German grid agency warns mass use of electric heaters in winter risks blackouts

Tagesspiegel / Welt

Germany’s grid agency has renewed its warning to citizens that using electric heaters instead of gas-powered heating systems could overburden the country’s power grids. “Using fan heaters is more expensive than heating with gas, even with very high gas prices," Klaus Müller, head of network agency BNetzAtold newspaper Tagesspiegel. "And if too many people heat with fan heaters at the same time, this can bring the electricity grids locally to their load limits and beyond.” The country’s association of towns and municipalities also said the energy crisis could endanger electricity supply. “The danger of a blackout is real,” the association’s head, Gerd Landsberg, told newspaper Welt am Sonntag. He said the power grid could be pushed beyond its limits if the 650,000 fan heaters sold so far this year are switched on in the case of gas shortfalls.

Many German consumers have bought fan heaters due to fears of a gas shortage caused by Russia's war on Ukraine, but several experts have said that a large-scale blackout remains unlikely. “Much of the fear is scaremongering,” energy expert Christoph Maurer of consulting firm Consentec told TV station n-tv, according to a report in Der Spiegel. The majority of heating and hot water systems in German households still rely largely on gas. 

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