Germany to curtail electricity exports to EU countries
Germany's Hendrik Neumann, chief technical officer of Amprion, has stated that Germany is about to face a difficult winter and as a result, might resort to limiting electricity exports to France.
During the approaching winter, Germany may have to temporarily curtail its electricity exports, including to France. The Financial Times quoted Hendrik Neumann, chief technical officer of Germany's main grid operator Amprion, saying that this could be Germany's "last resort."
Neumann said that the measures Germany is outlining are a “last resort” to be implemented in order to avoid power outages within the country. Neumann reportedly said that power exports would likely be halted for numerous hours and “not days.”
Neumann bluntly spoke to FT and clearly stated that “We are assuming a highly stressed situation during the coming winter.”
Significantly, the head grid operator explained that the energy crisis Germany and the rest of the EU are facing is not entirely resulting from the war in Ukraine but rather comes as "overlapping issues" become more prominent. The war and the anti-Russian sanctions have definitely had a partial impact on the energy sectors in the EU, however, the most important factor in the crisis is the lack of nuclear power plants.
He clarified that these "overlapping issues" include coal shortages which are a consequence of low water levels that hindered the delivery of the product across the EU. Furthermore, the closure of nuclear power plants in France also played a significant role in the crisis.
This is not all, says Neumann, adding that issues of wind power-generating plants' remoteness from primary consumers and industrial plants have also added fuel to the fire.
For many years, Germany has been considered a key electricity exporter. According to data from the network regulator, last year, it supplied 17,400 GWh more electricity to other EU nations than it imported.
Germany's main electricity buyers are France and Austria. According to statistics from the think tank Fraunhofer ISE, France imported 6,000 GWh of power from Germany from January to March this year, accounting for 5% of Germany's total electricity production during that time period. According to the data, this amount was five times higher than in the same period the previous year.
According to analysts, a decline in German power exports may worsen supply shortages in France. Due to concerns with nuclear power plants, France may possibly suspend power deliveries to Italy for two years, according to speculations last month. However, France later denied these allegations.
The French government has urged the country's national utility EDF to restart the country's 32 presently inactive nuclear reactors as soon as feasible. They were taken offline early this year owing to corrosion issues and have since remained on maintenance. EDF has announced that its nuclear power output will fall to its lowest level in over 30 years owing to difficulties at the aging plants.