MADRID – According to the Austrian government, there is a “real and very serious risk” of a major power outage indefinitely for the entire European territory. That would mean no electricity, no internet, and no heating.
This would have major consequences for communication, traffic, food supply, financial institutions, and public safety. This was reported by the national Austrian newspaper Die Press this week. According to the government’s forecast, the probability of a power outage in the next five years is 100%. That is why the Austrian authorities want to be able to supply electricity to their own citizens by 2025. And also to ensure that some military and police facilities can remain operational. The idea is also that these facilities are self-sufficient in energy.
The possible causes of a major blackout are diverse; extreme storms or other meteorological phenomena that can damage power lines, terrorist or computer attacks, or technical failures. The increasingly decentralised generation and distribution of electricity also contribute to the vulnerability of the system, according to the newspaper.
Red Eléctrica rules out a blackout in Spain
According to the newspaper La Vanguardia, the operator of the Spanish electricity grid, Red Electrica, assures that “there is no objective indication” that there may be problems with the electricity supply in Spain, as Austria warns and now also Switzerland and Germany fear.
Spain “has a high level of coverage,” the operator says. They indicate the installed power – i.e. the generating capacity of the plants – is 107,088 megawatts (MW). That is more than double the historical demand record -45,450 MW, on December 17, 2007. It is also far from this year’s maximum -42,225 MW, on January 8. She also points out that Spain’s electricity grid has shown its strength “on numerous occasions”. Including such times as during storm Filomena in January this year.
Teresa Ribera, the Spanish Minister of Ecological Transition also emphatically ruled out such a power outage. She also confirmed the closure of the gas pipeline between Maghreb and Europe is not a concern to guarantee supply. The minister explained that the Spanish energy system is “almost an island”, which means that “the risk of some kind of power outage due to a blackout in the system in third countries is very limited. In addition, there is the capacity to place a deposit in case that happens.” “It’s a concern that we can completely ignore,” she concluded.
Survival pack sales skyrocket
The Spaniards apparently don’t trust the government and the state-owned company responsible for the electricity network in the country and are starting to stock up on all kinds of products at hardware stores and specialist shops to get through a possibly large and prolonged power outage. It concerns survival kits with, for example, camping stoves, gas cartridges, sleeping bags, flashlights, water filters, dehydrated food, or solar showers. The run on these types of articles was confirmed to Libertad Digital by sources at the sports and camping supply chain Decathlon. A similar increase in sales has not only occurred in Spain but is being experienced worldwide, the same sources note.