Growing demand puts EU electricity grid under pressure

(EurActiv, 17 Jan 2023) Europe’s power grid is under pressure, faced with growing demand from electric vehicles and heat pumps as well as lagging investments in new infrastructure. Is a blackout imminent?

Klaus Müller, the president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency – the Bundesnetzagentur – is a worried man.

“If many new heat pumps and charging stations continue to be installed, then overload problems and local power cuts in the distribution grid are to be feared,” Müller told FAS  on Sunday (15 January).

Earlier that day, the grid operator in Southern Germany, TransnetBW, launched an appeal on citizens to reduce their energy consumption during the evening in order to avoid a blackout.

“Help us out!” the company said in a message posted on social media

As Russian gas flows to Europe near zero, Germany is speeding up the deployment of clean energy alternatives – new wind farms, rooftop solar panels, and heat pumps – which have seen demand booming over the past months. 

European EV sales were up 27% in November 2022 compared to the previous year. And the same goes for heat pumps, which grew at a rate of more than 20%, after a strong 2021 with 34% growth, said Thomas Nowak, secretary-general of the European heat pump association (EHPA).

External link

EurActiv, 17 Jan 2023: Growing demand puts EU electricity grid under pressure