On 15thSeptember Bloomberg published an article entitled “Europe Prepares Blackout Plans to Head Off Winter Energy Chaos”. This article has now been archived.
The article starts as:
“It’s December in Europe and the temperature is dropping. People have the heating on as they cook dinner run the washing machine watch television. But the French grid operator like counterparts elsewhere on the continent is running out of options to keep the lights on.
The utility has issued a “red” alert meaning supplies are at their limit. It’s already cut off some big industrial users and reduced voltage and even sent out a mass request to households to curb their electricity usage. Many comply but it’s crunch time. The operator needs to take the drastic step of shutting down power in some places to avoid a total collapse of the system. It’s a dramatic scenario but one that governments across Europe are preparing for as the energy squeeze that’s gripped the continent gets worse with each passing week. On Wednesday France’s Reseau de Transport d’Electricite said that it will probably have to ask the country to cut consumption several times this winter to avoid rolling blackouts. Finland also ramped up its warnings about outages.”
Ed Birkett the head of energy and climate at Onward a London-based think tank said that “The reality is that there is not enough gas in Europe”and unless the demand is reduced businesses will be forced to go off the grid and even households will be in worst case scenarios.
As an example he mentions when Texas’ grid went down in 2021 during cold weather leaving millions of people without power for days.
Bloomberg adds that much will depend on the weather in Europe in the coming months because small changes in temperature can drastically alter power requirements. In France a one-degree Celsius drop typically increases power demand by about 2 400 megawatts roughly the output of two of the country’s 56 nuclear reactors.
So now they are blaming the weather they have learned to manipulate to make people think that climate change is real and thanks to this same illusionary reality they are required to make sacrifices or else the gas and electricity supply will be deliberately cut off.
Adam Bell a consultant who previously led energy strategy at the UK Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said that in cases of an extremely cold winter the UK’s grid will experience the same negative impact as Texas. The solution is for the people to reduce the demand.
Because first plans are fabricated in a hush-hush way behind closed doors and then the burden is put on the people who were not inside these closed doors with the European Commission proposing a regulation requiring governments to reduce overall electricity consumption by 10% with a 5% mandatory reduction during peak hours.
However some government assistance measures may exacerbate the problem and the reason brought forth is that price controls aimed at assisting consumers and businesses in dealing with rising prices reduce incentives to reduce consumption. So they make it look that the governments are doing their part for the benefit of the people while the people are not doing their part.
Other factors are at work as well. France traditionally Europe’s largest electricity exporter may have to import large amounts of power this winter as Electricite de France SA struggles with the aging nuclear fleet’s reduced reliability. A dry summer has harmed hydropower across Europe including Norway a traditional exporter.
If the crisis worsens cutting power to homes is a last resort so the governments have come up with more solutions – they have advised the people to lower their thermostats and take shorter showers; have lowered temperatures in public pools and turned off outside lighting on public buildings at night.
Again because they have started from two weeks to flatten to curve to now you shower and heat your homes according to our own terms.
The typical next step is for large energy-intensive companies many of which have pre-arranged agreements with governments to reduce or shut down their operations. After that the options become even less appealing. In France the Ecowatt system allows people to monitor power supply and demand forecasts for the next three days with three levels: green orange and red. This means that the French are being monitored and controlled.
If the grid operator anticipates a critical situation it will issue an alert the night before and controlled outages of around 2 hours could be organised so to avoid throwing the operators into a chaotic situation in cases of uncontrolled blackouts.
Similar procedures are in place elsewhere. If the UK’s emergency plan is activated it will first ask households and businesses to conserve energy. The next step would be for large energy-intensive businesses to close their doors.
It is already happening. This is a photo of a bakery in France stating: “Pas de Gaz Pas de Pain” (No gas no bread):
It is humanity that is being thrown into a chaotic situation. And yet they come to you with a friendly handshake:
The German government calls on citizens to save energy so the country can get through the winter. “Winter is coming. Let’s stick together.”