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Mayor: Heat pumps and new residents lead to power outages

Mayor: Heat pumps and new residents lead to power outages

Is this the green future? The city of Oranienburg, north of Berlin, suffers from bottlenecks in electricity supplies. The city, with a population of 42,000, can no longer approve new electricity connections. “I'm currently building a house and haven't applied for a connection yet. Can I still get a network connection?” “No,” asks a resident of Oranienberger. The answer from the municipal utility is the WELT daily newspaper, one of many customer inquiries.

Similar answers for newly ordered heat pump. “Have you not yet submitted your subsidy increase request and do you need more subsidy? We cannot offer you any performance increase until further notice. New charging stations for electric vehicles have also been affected.

The current substation is no longer able to provide the required power, according to a press release. Then the public utilities in Oranienburg informed the Federal Grid Agency last week that not enough power could be supplied in the high-voltage network. This means that supply options in the city of Oranienburg have been exhausted, according to the managing director of municipal utilities, Peter Grabowski.

A year after the last of Germany's nuclear power plants closed, it has become a symbol. Germany has become the second largest importer of electricity in the European Union – after Italy. Coal-fired power plant units have also been shut down in the recent past. More to follow.

Municipal utilities transfer responsibility to the regional grid operator E.dis. A year ago there were calls to increase the capacity of the nearby substation. Nothing happened. “In order to maintain the stability of the electricity grid in Oranienburg, municipal utilities are no longer able to approve new registrations or increases in the performance of household connections. New commercial and industrial areas cannot currently be connected to the grid and supplied with electricity,” the press release stated.

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City Mayor Alexander Laisicki confirmed that the demand for electricity has developed dramatically, and more quickly than expected in the past. The influx of so-called new residents and the increased installation of heat pumps have increased the demand for electricity. “The electricity needs of our growing city have evolved dramatically and more rapidly than previously anticipated,” Lysek said.

In response to WELT's request, the Federal Network Agency blamed omissions in network planning. “Network operators have to proactively upgrade their network in order to fundamentally prevent issues related to capacity shortages. […] So part of clarifying the facts would also be why that does not appear to have happened in this case. They don't seem to want to give the impression that electricity shortages could be a harbinger. Ironically, those who consume electricity, praised by the Green Party, are the first to suffer.