German power grid operator does not expect blackouts this winter
Clean Energy Wire
German power transmission grid operator Amprion has said that it does not expect blackouts this winter despite “an extremely tense supply situation” caused by the current energy crisis. Even the results in a worst-case scenario assumed in the country’s recent “stress test” have shown that an power blackout in the sense of “an uncontrolled large-scale collapse of the grid” at least in a large part of continental Europe is unlikely, Amprion writes on its website. However, the grid operator says it could not rule out so-called “load shortages” in Germany, where the available electricity cannot cover the projected demand. To prevent this, gird operators would – in a worst-case scenario – disconnect consumers from the grid in a certain region and for a limited period of time. “Transmission system operators like Amprion thus prevent a blackout by deciding, as a last resort, that companies and private households will be switched off for a short time and then switched back on,” Amprion says.
The energy crisis in Europe, which has been exacerbated by the fallout of Russia’s war against Ukraine, has caused worries across the continent about supply security for gas and electricity especially during the coming winter, when demand is high particularly for heating energy. Major challenges include reduced natural gas deliveries from Russia, uncertainties regarding the operational readiness of France’s nuclear power plant fleet, and difficulties regarding plans to bring German coal plants back online. Germany's economy ministry in early September decided that two of the countries remaining nuclear power plants will not be decommissioned at the end of the year but be put in an emergency reserve until mid-April as a backup to stabilise the grid in southern Germany if necessary.