Recently there have been several dramatic blackouts in Vienna, as in June in Prater. Blackout expert, Herbert Sorge, sees a possible buildup happening by chance. It could be even more dangerous this winter, which will be a stress test for the power grid.
On June 6, electricity was cut off at Prater and Ernst Happel Stadium, among others, before an international football match. This was followed by more failures in the coming days and weeks. Each failure triggers an alarm in the Wiener Netze power control center in Simmering. “In the past, there were always instances of failure like this that didn’t find their way into the media,” says Herbert Sorge, expert on obfuscation and crisis prevention.
However, there may also be an association with the heat, that is, also with the climate crisis, and increased damage to infrastructure, as Sorge told “Vienna Today: In particular it has been underground for decades”.
Much can be heated by electricity
So, is there a need to make up for what happened when it comes to modernizing Vienna’s power grid? You don’t see it that way in Wiener Netze. “We have 99.99 percent supply insurance and are constantly renewing and expanding our power grid to meet future requirements,” said Christian Cole, spokesperson for Wiener Nitze. About 300 million euros are invested in the power grid every year.
Next winter will be a stress test for Vienna’s electricity grid: if gas becomes scarce and expensive, many can heat up with electricity – already reflected in the growing demand for fan heaters, for example. According to Sorge, this, in turn, can lead to an increased load. Wiener Netze is more optimistic: the power grid will resist it, and then the bottlenecks will be power lines and valves in homes and apartments, they say.
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