Germany nearly went black in 2017 and again a few days ago. Now the weather threatens to turn for the worse and the consequences hardly bear thinking about. Apart from the disruption of everything electric that is not backed up by gas or diesel, think of the people who are in fuel poverty under normal circumstances.
Not to mention the airline flight disruptions around the world.
A winter blizzard is set to strike Central Europe, bringing with it the potential to wreak power outage havoc. Temperatures will plummet to as low as -15°C accompanied by bone-chilling high winds. Closed shops due to COVID-19 are leaving citizens unprepared. A protracted power outage would be devastating.
In the coming hours, a high pressure system situated over Scandinavia and storm Tristan to the south will collide over central Europe and develop into dangerous weather conditions over one of Europe’s most populated regions, North Rhine Westphalia Germany.
Winter blackout not unprecedented
Such a blackout would not be unprecedented. In 2006, a major European blackout was caused by a disconnection of a powerline crossing in northwest Germany. The power outage quickly cascaded across Europe, extending from Poland in the north-east, to the Benelux countries and France in the west, through to Portugal, Spain and Morocco in the south-west, and across to Greece and the Balkans in the south-east.
Also just last month a major European blackout was narrowly averted. The cause: wintry weather, which was mild compared to what is forecast to hit soon.