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The power grid is fluctuating as never before

In 2011, Swissgrid had to intervene, the operator of the Swiss electricity network, only twice the power grid, in order to prevent larger problems in the networ

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The power grid is fluctuating as never before

In 2011, Swissgrid had to intervene, the operator of the Swiss electricity network, only twice the power grid, in order to prevent larger problems in the network. In the past year, these operations amounted to 382 interventions, a new record number. Swissgrid had to arrange measures on average more than once per day, so that the voltage in the Swiss power grid was in danger.

In such a case, the Aarau-based operator of the electricity network has one or sometimes more than a dozen power throttled works in the short term, or. In the power grid, the production needs to be adjusted, namely, within seconds of consumption, in order to keep the voltage always uniformly high. Fluctuations can lead to the collapse of the electricity network and thus a power failure. Have increased in recent years not only national problems, but also the measures taken in connection with the international network had to take emergency measures.

This has a reason: With more and more electricity from solar and Wind, whose production depends on the short-term changing weather, is the consistent supply difficult. The production of this renewable electricity supplier is in the Wind and sunshine are much higher than the consumption, in the night, and when there is no wind, however, is too low. Except for pumped-storage power plants in Switzerland, for example, lack of the necessary electricity storage. In addition, The production sites of the Wind and sun are often not where the electricity is needed, namely in the industrial areas. And there are little lines to carry the electricity.

customer costs for network intrusions

The new record is remarkable in that it was not in the last year, with stable periods in which Swissgrid was required. This is evident from the list of the decreed measures, which is published by the network operator, on an ongoing basis. So at the end of July were, for example, in the days before Christmas or in the steady heat phase, no intervention in the electricity production needed. The more intense Swissgrid a handle, for example, at the beginning of July to the grid. Alone on 2. July had to let eight power plants throttling or start-up, so that the network operation was not endangered. Power plants have to cut their production, will be compensated for this. How high are these payments in 2018, and whether the costs for Swissgrid could be covered, will be known to the network operator, until the beginning of April with the annual accounts. Ultimately these costs end up on the electricity bill of the customer.

In Linthal is the largest pumped-storage power plant in Switzerland, Axpo is investing over 2 billion Swiss francs. Photo: Keystone

Swissgrid writes on the question of why the intervention each year have increased, and Expansion of the networks, the Expansion of production from solar and wind energy, behind. The "change of the energy systems in the whole of Europe" would lead to bottlenecks that would have to be with such measures fixed. Also necessary is that Switzerland should participate with a current agreement on the European coordination of the electricity grid. She was currently excluded.

European network vulnerable

But also in the rest of Europe the situation is not stable. Two weeks ago, it came to a dicey Situation. The frequency in the electricity grid declined in the evening shortly after 21 o'clock, from 50 to 49.8 Hertz. The critical value for the stability of the electricity grid. The last Time there was a variation in 2006. At the time, were arrested in France, around ten million households from the electricity to stabilize the network. This Time, the incident was less bad. As Swissgrid writes, was a measurement error on the border lines between Germany and Austria, one reason for the problems, but this alone does not explain the incident fully. It will be further investigated.

Swissgrid had to arrange no measures. The frequency deviation is also in the Swiss network. Security of supply is endangered, however, been no time.

The Situation is likely to worsen in three years if nuclear power plants are decommissioned in the South of Germany. In the scenarios, which had made the Baden-württemberg government in 2016, is itself calculated in optimistic conditions, with problems at the latest in 2025. Swissgrid will inform, you work to be to the possible scenarios prepared. (Editorial Tamedia)

Created: 24.01.2019, 18:08 PM

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