German Companies Scramble to Buy Generators Amid Grid Collapse Fears

02 March 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Friedrichshafen: Rolls-Royce Power Systems employees assemble an MTU Rail Power Pack in Plant 1. In the future, a hybrid railway power pack will also be assembled there. Photo: Felix Kästle/dpa (Photo by Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images

Medium and large companies have reportedly been scrambling to purchase electricity generators amid fears that the country could see parts of its national grid collapse.

Companies responsible for the sale of electricity generators in Germany are reported to be seeing their business boom with many enterprises reportedly fearing that there could be widespread power outages or even partial grid collapse throughout Germany this winter.

It comes after one senior official in Germany recently warned that the country must now “assume” there will be serious power outages over the coming months, and plan accordingly for them.

Despite attempts by authorities to quash this warning almost as soon as it was made, it appears that reassurances from various parts of the German federal government have failed to convince many businesses, with Der Spiegel reporting that the country is now well and truly experiencing a run on electricity generators.

According to the newspaper, a company spokesman for engine manufacturer Rolls Royce has described business this year as being extremely good for the company, with its entire 2023 stock of generators being nearly sold out by the first half of 2022, with many companies reportedly afraid of seeing their electronic equipment going down.

“The waiting times for the units is currently six to twelve months,” the spokesman reportedly said, who also noted that “data traffic is increasing in almost all sectors” and that both “medium-sized companies as well as large corporations” want to secure their digital networks in the event of a loss of power.

The rapid purchasing of electricity generators in Germany appears to betray a lack of confidence businesses have in their government, with the surge in demand occurring despite repeated public assurances from various officials and politicians that the situation is probably under control.

Such a lack of trust is understandable however considering how often this message is undercut by the words and actions of a number of senior officials in the country.

Perhaps the most notable of these warnings came from the head of the Federal Office for Civil Protection, Ralph Tiesler, who said earlier this month that the situation is dire enough that Germany now must “assume” rolling blackouts will occur.

“The risk of this increases from January and February,” he said, seemingly in reference to the fact that there are fears that Germany could finally run out of gas by the end of February. “…so we assume that from then on there will be interruptions to the power supply for a certain period of time.”

Almost immediately after it was reported that Tiesler made this claim, his own Civil Defence office came out to countersignal it, declaring that the chance Germany would see any grid disruption is ultimately “low” despite the host of warnings from both the office’s leader as well as many other officials.

Such a claim has no doubt been a hard sell in the country, which has seen some of its most elite law enforcement agencies begin preparing for a possible grid collapse in some metropolitan areas such as Berlin.

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