Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blizzards push southeastern Europe energy grids to limits

Oleg Vukmanovic and Maja Zuvela in Reuters: Blizzards and ice-laden power lines in southeastern Europe pushed gas and electricity networks near to breaking point Wednesday as consumption soared, while some western countries scrambled to prevent similar breakdowns.

As electricity cables buckled under the weight of ice and snow in southeastern Bosnia, where some 15,000 customers were left in darkness, Serbia warned of a "possible collapse" of its energy system as record-breaking demand stretched the power grid near its technical limits.

Serbia's government adviser for energy issues, Petar Skundric, said the Balkan nation should reduce power consumption by 10 percent "to avoid problems and possible collapse of the energy system."

"In only a week's time Serbia has broken six historical records both in consumption and production of electricity," Skundric told reporters. "The system is operating at the very border of its technical capabilities, and we should do our best to reduce both consumption by at least 10 percent from the current level and production by around some 500 MW," he said....

A snowflake, shot by NOAA

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