short‑run security of supply in Germany (in German)

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Robbie Morrison

Jan 12, 2023, 8:28:30 AMJan 12
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Hello all

A new position paper covering short‑run security of supply issues for Germany now out (all translations to english provided here are unofficial):

  • Mayer, Christoph, Berit Erlach, Manfred Fischedick, Hans-Martin Henning, Ellen Matthies, Karen Pittel, Jürgen Renn, Dirk Uwe Sauer, Indra Spiecker (genannt Döhmann), and Cyril Stephanos (12 January 2023). Sind Blackouts in Deutschland wahrscheinlich? [Are blackouts likely in Germany?] (in German). Germany: acatech, Leopoldina, Akademienunion. doi:10.48669/esys_2023-1. Impuls paper. Akademienprojekt "Energiesysteme der Zukunft" (ESYS).

The report summary notes:

Germany currently has one of the most secure power supplies in the world. Major power failures or even blackouts are unlikely. In order to ensure that the energy system, which is in a state of transition, remains at least as secure in the future as it is today, it is important to take forward‑looking measures now. In doing so, experts emphasize the following points:

  • Only very few power failures are blackouts. It is important to differentiate precisely here in order to be able to make a realistic assessment of events and their consequences.
  • Currently, there is no fear of a blackout due to a power shortage because there are strong and mature backup mechanisms.
  • Although these mechanisms can mean temporary interruptions in the power supply, they usually only affect large industrial consumers and therefore do not have the catastrophic consequences for society that are sometimes feared.
  • As the energy transition progresses, energy supply will become more decentralized and increasingly digitalized. This offers opportunities for the security of energy supply.
  • However, new risks may also arise. Addressing these now is necessary to ensure future security of supply.

At this point I have to quote German (formerly East German) dramatist and theater director, Heiner Müller who remarked that "optimism is just a lack of information".

More seriously, power outages are generally becoming more prevalent as climate change‑modified weather takes hold.  If and how such events and trends should be represented in energy systems models certainly raises some interesting questions and issues?

with best wishes, Robbie

Robbie Morrison
Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49.30.612-87617
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