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Security of supply to industry in Europe is in jeopardy

The German Association of Industrial Energy Consumers (VIK), Berlin/Germany, has expressed concern about the unexpected problems in the European power supply on 8th January 2021. Christian Seyfert, VIK Managing Director: “The incident on 8th January is unfortunately not the first of its kind, but it must be a warning to us all to not lose sight of the topic of grid stability and security of supply. Germany cannot assume that we will be supplied in one way or another from other European countries if we do not have enough power.”

Several news portals unanimously report that Europe may only narrowly escape a blackout, caused by a sudden drop in voltage in South-East Europe, whereas at the same time there is an electricity shortage in France, meaning that 13 nuclear power plant units are currently not connected to the grid. Comparisons have been drawn to an incident in November 2006, when a complete blackout in Western Europe was caused by the deactivation of two lines in Germany, which resulted in roughly ten million households being suddenly left without power.

Seyfert pointed out that with the phasing out of nuclear energy and coal in Germany in the coming years so-called guaranteed capacity from conventional energy generation will be shut down, to a large extent without replacement. This will lead to significant challenges in the security of supply regionally and nationwide, to which policy responses must also be developed. “The principle of hope is not enough. An inexpensive, climate-friendly, but also secure power supply is a decisive location factor for industrial companies subject to inter-national competition”, highlighted Seyfert. It is doubtful whether this will damage the business location of Germany. (VIK/-Si.)