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Network Agency for Rationing: Are more and more electric cars threatening power outages?

Network agency for rationing
Are more and more electric cars threatening power outages?

What is definitely positive for the climate could become a problem for the energy supply: More and more Germans are buying electric cars. However, a charging station in the garage consumes a lot of electricity – and if the heat pump in the basement is also working, overloading can occur, the Federal Network Agency warns.

The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, has warned of an overload of the electricity grid in Germany due to the increasing number of private electric car charging stations and electricity-driven heat pumps. “If a large number of new heat pumps and charging stations continue to be installed, then overload problems and local power failures in the distribution network are to be feared if we don’t act,” said Müller of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”.

According to the newspaper report, the Bonn authority considers the local low-voltage local networks to be particularly prone to failure. The network agency has therefore published a key issues paper that provides for temporary electricity rationing for heat pumps and electric car charging stations in times of high network utilization. According to the newspaper, grid operators should then forcibly and centrally throttle the power supply of the systems. According to the report, the electricity rationing plans are to come into effect on January 1, 2024.

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However, the heaters and chargers should not be completely disconnected from the power supply in critical phases, said Müller of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. “We want to guarantee a minimum supply at all times.” Even with electricity rationing, private charging stations would be able to obtain enough electricity to charge the battery of an electric car within three hours for a range of 50 kilometers. In addition, according to the report, “almost trouble-free continued operation” should remain possible for a large number of heat pumps.

The board of directors of the Düsseldorf energy group Eon, Thomas König, meanwhile called for a greatly accelerated expansion and modernization of the local and regional power grids in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. In the newspaper, he referred to numerous applications for the connection of new systems and waiting periods of up to eight months for the systems to be connected to the power grid. However, investments would be slowed down by lengthy approval procedures for construction measures lasting up to twelve years. “That is completely out of the question,” said König.

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