Germany’s National Power Grid Mess…Country Seeing Whopping 172,000 Power Outages Annually!

Germany’s Energiewende threatens to follow a similar path as the Berlin-Brandenburg airport debacle, but on a far greater scale. When bureaucrats take over project engineering...

Berlin-Brandenburg BER airport: Construction began in 2006 with operation scheduled to begin in 2011. And now as 2017 nears the end, BER is not even close to opening. Currently it is well over 2000 days behind schedule. Massive technical deficiencies with the airport’s safety systems plague the entire project, and now it is questionable whether the airport will even open in 2021.

Bureaucrat run airport-project turns into national embarrassment

BER’s original estimated price tage was 2.5 billion euros, but since then the costs have ballooned to 6.6 billion euros today. Worse: billions more are expected, nobody knows when the project will be completed, and there’s even talk the project might be abandoned altogether! It is undoubtedly the country’s greatest construction and engineering debacle so far this century. The joke today: It would be cheaper to move the entire city of Berlin to another airport then to sort through the catastrophe that is the BER airport.

What happened? Ideological bureaucrats took over project engineering

At the early design and construction stages, the project was run by Berlin’s socialist-green bureaucrats – who thought they could handle it better than real builders. These bureaucrats unfortunately failed to adequately involve the necessary technical and engineering experts during the crucial early stages and the result was a plan that was so flawed that today it looks more like an animal begging to be put out of its misery.

Naturally their airport concept and plans sailed through the approval process and construction started in earnest. But before long it was discovered that the BER design was fraught with technical and safety deficiencies, and it’s opening has been pushed back every year since 2011. The truth is that no one knows how to resolve the huge flaws.

BER is a classic case of what can happen if the right people are not running the job and ideology takes over.

Energiewende: a potential folly 200 times greater than BER

As hard as it may be to believe, a similar German-made engineering catastrophe but of far greater dimensions looms: the revamping of the country’s electricity supply infrastructure so that it is “green” – the so-called “Energiewende“. Like BER, the Energiewende too was managed by bureaucrats, who in the wake of the Fukushima disaster ordered Germany’s top power generation experts at the country’s leading power companies to stand back and keep silent as the country fast-tracked from nuclear and fossil fuel power over to clean, green energies.

Merkel government decides to run the power industry

The rush decision was made by Angela Merkel and her CDU/CSU party. Power engineering experts were not invited on the board commissioned to launch it and thus they had no input or say on the matter. The politicians were warned of the risks of flooding the existing grid with unstable energy, but they obstinately brushed the warnings aside and went full throttle into the Energiewende. They believed they knew better.

Today, some 6 years later, the Energiewende is looking a lot like the BER debacle: an engineering embarrassment and looming catastrophe. The major grid infrastructure revamping is still decades off and the power grid already frequent teeters on the brink of collapse. While BER is the airport without adequate fire and safety systems, Germany’s Energiewende is the nation’s power supply without a proper grid. In both cases the costs are spiraling out of control and no one knows if it’s ever going to work at all. It is wild experimentation, and not engineering.

172,000 outages last year

To illustrate how far along the road to disaster Germany’s once impeccably stable grid has come, the online hessenschau.de here reports that for the second time in a just few days the central city of Wiesbaden has seen its power black out. It writes:

On Saturday evening in parts of Wiesbaden the power went out for 2 hours. […]. It is the second power outage within just a few days.”

Over the past years the German state of Hesse has been plagued by power outages, Hessen public television (HR) reported here, as it pondered why Hesse has become so prone to blackouts. HR cites the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Grid Agency), which says there are over 172,000 power outages annually, which is some 470 daily, and that last winter multiple power plants had to be switched simultaneously because “the German grid was on the brink of collapse.”

Volatile wind and sun

Prof. Peter Birkner blames the volatile supply of green energies: “The wind does not ask what we want, what we consume, and just blows as it wills” and that “the power grid is not designed for it“.

While the BER debacle has cost over 6 billion euros so far, the Energiewende has already committed close to 200 times that amount of money: over 1 trillion euros!

According to Frankfurt’s Fire Department spokesman Andreas Mohn, the city’s 27 mobile power generators would not be able to handle a power outage and citizens would have to “fend for themselves“:

That starts with a few candles, food, water and maybe a possibility of something for heating, a gas cooker or something.”

Government information pamphlet on what to do in the event of a blackout

Little wonder that in 2015 the BBK – Germany’s version of FEMA – released a pamphlet advising citizens on how to proceed in the event of power outages.

State media has “diesel generators” on stand-by

Even German HR public television has taken precautions against power outages and has “large diesel generators on hand in the event of a blackout” which would switch on within 14 seconds.

According to Hesse HR public broadcasting:

Short periods of time would be bridged over by thousands of batteries. Then diesel would take over. With over 40,000 liters in the tank, HR would be able to broadcast completely on its own for up to two weeks”.

It’s nice to hear that public funded German broadcasting would keep warm and running in a blackout. The citizens, on the other hand, would be left out in the cold. This is the utopia that green bureaucrats are bringing to Germany.

Other countries should think twice before heading down this path of folly.

21 responses to “Germany’s National Power Grid Mess…Country Seeing Whopping 172,000 Power Outages Annually!”

  1. nzrobin

    As ordered by Maurice Strong at Rio, 1992.

  2. crosspatch

    The leftists will not be satisfied until we are eating insects, drinking urine, and living in mud huts — while they fly around the world in jet airplanes.

    1. kevin a

      Yes perfect answer

  3. Graeme No.3

    Sounds like South Australia; excessive wind generation and frequent blackouts.
    I was chatting with some maintenance men from the local grid (SA power network) who had congregated in the local park while their supervisor phoned Head Office about priorities (we had heavy rain o’night which made some jobs impossible). They started reminiscing about blackouts and it became obvious that they had attended so many in the last year that the details had become blurred in their minds. “was it the 4 day one?” “the christmas one? – no, that was load shedding”.
    Well we’ve got wind turbines and a big battery and most people are expecting blackouts over summer anyway.

    1. gallopingcamel

      Many thanks for what you are doing in South Australia. You are showing what stupid government can achieve. Thanks to Donald Trump we won’t be following your lead.

    2. RickWill

      Germany needs to have a chat with Elon Musk. He has sorted SA apparently; or maybe not:
      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/blackouts-surround-teslas-megabattery-on-first-day/news-story/09b9861039660c7c01a52c7167d47bcf
      Quote
      “South Australia yesterday flicked the switch on the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in a bid to shore up the reliability and ­diversity of its power supply this summer.

      But wild weather triggered blackouts in the suburbs around the Tesla battery, with data from SA Power Networks showing 208 homes in suburbs around Jamestown lost power yesterday afternoon after storms damaged equipment.”
      Unquote

      When reading something like this that blames weather I wonder what actually happened.

      1. Otto Kring

        Any chance of the lights failing at the cricket Test Match at the Adelaide Oval ?
        I think England might need it.

  4. BoyfromTottenham

    Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was so prophetic! Of course she was born and grew up in Russia before emigrating to the US, so she fully understood how disastrous the outcome of Communism was, and that Socialism would eventually produce the same effect in the US if not stopped. It wasn’t, and it is. QED. It’s a long read, but well worth it.

    1. gallopingcamel

      As Boyfrom Tottenham points out the elites who run most western nations don’t read the right books. Even if some (e.g. Merkel) have read Atlas Shrugged, they fail to act on it.

      Likewise at the lower levels where “Project Managers” hang out you get statements like this:
      “Bureaucrat run airport-project turns into national embarrassment”

      Things might have turned out better if those bureaucrats had read the works of professor C. Northcote Parkinson and especially his “First Law” of project management which states:
      “Work expands into the time available for its completion”

      How do you define the time available for completion? You bind your contractor to a completion date with with massive penalties for each day the completion is delayed.

      1. Graeme No.3

        gallopingcamel;

        Public servants need on-going projects as an excuse (“we are really busy here with all these things happening now”) and a way of expanding (“yes, progress is slow because we don’t have enough people”).
        Finishing a project might lead to questions such as “why are we paying all these people?” and “what does this Department do?”.

    2. gallopingcamel

      The elites who run most western nations don’t read the right books. Even if some (e.g. Merkel) have read Atlas Shrugged, they fail to act on it.

      Likewise at the lower levels where “Project Managers” hang out you get statements like this:
      “Bureaucrat run airport-project turns into national embarrassment”

      Things might have turned out better if those bureaucrats had read the works of professor C. Northcote Parkinson and especially his “First Law” of project management which states:
      “Work expands into the time available for its completion”

      How do you define the time available for completion? You bind your contractor to a completion date with with massive penalties for each day the completion is delayed.

  5. Bernd Felsche

    “something for heating, a gas cooker or something.”

    NOT safe in the hermetically-sealed “energy saving” homes promoted by the German government.

    P.S. I wonder if HR’s backup generators are also powering the transmitters; or if it’s just the offices and studios.

  6. ClimateOtter

    seb is once again silent….

    1. Bitter&twisted

      No need. For Sebastian to comment on a “success” story…….

    2. SebastianH

      No need to comment on this wild denialist fantasy post.

      1. Kenneth Richard

        What is the truth that is being denied here by the “denialists”, SebastianH? Be specific.

        Do you believe Energiewende is working out well?

      2. sunsettommy

        What you really mean, Sebastian is you have no argument to make against the blog post since it is correct.

        Making a snotty dead on arrival comment you made doesn’t work here.

  7. Hasbeen

    Not much point powering transmitters, if the audience are blacked out, & thus have nothing to power receivers.

  8. jorgekafkazar

    Why is it that the solutions proposed for failed Socialist programs always consist of more Socialism?

  9. tom0mason
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