The weekend’s power blackouts in Europe, thought to have been caused by a Norwegian cruise ship, have fuelled fears that more dark days are to come if the energy sector is not given a boost. Analysts say a huge investment is needed to recharge the continent’s ageing power system. German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel thinks this should be up to utility companies.
“The exact causes are not clear yet, electric utilities have to analyse these, but it shows it’s necessary to invest more into the development of the networks. That’s one of the utilities’ duties and I think there’s a considerable backlog demand problem here.”
It’s thought that when a power line was shut to allow the cruiser ship to pass safely, a “domino effect” kicked in and national grids became overloaded, leading to the blackouts. Although there were no serious incidents recorded, with high winter demand experts warn that secure supply of power in Europe is vulnerable.
As industrial disputes hinder the progress of a common EU energy policy, investment is not forthcoming. This as gas and electricity prices continue to climb.