Europeans are being warned of ‘unprecedented’ power failures this winter as the energy crisis brings a foreseeable future that will be colder and darker.
“There is an increased risk of a lack of power this winter,” Klaus Winther, deputy director at Energinet, the Danish national transmission system operator for electricity and natural gas, told TV2.
Winther says the crisis will herald a new era of energy consumption predicated on rationing to prevent blackouts.
A “perfect storm” of soaring prices, a hot dry summer, and a collapse in the confidence of energy security means power grid failures are now a real possibility.
“The production of electricity cannot keep up with the demand, and this increases the probability of a power failure,” said Winther.
Although insisting that “power cuts are the absolutely last tool we have in the drawer,” Winther warned that individual distribution companies may be forced to shut off electricity supplies for hours at a time to avoid longer blackouts.
Meanwhile, Brian Vad Mathiesen, professor of energy planning at Aalborg University, said Danes may have to adopt a 1970’s oil crisis-style mentality and get used to living in colder and darker houses.
“We must create energy-saving campaigns on a scale we cannot imagine, and everyone must take responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Sweden, the prospect of sustained power outages has been increased from “low” to “real,” with the more populated areas most at risk.
“This winter, at its coldest, there is a real risk that we will have to interrupt electricity consumption in parts of southern Sweden,” strategic operations manager for Swedish power grid operator Svenska Kraftnät, Erik Ek, said in a press release.
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