Germany and five other EU countries pledge solidarity in face of risk of blackouts

Germany and five other EU countries pledge solidarity in face of risk of blackouts

Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have signed a memorandum of understanding on risk preparedness and solidarity in the electricity sector, as the risk of blackouts Electricity is becoming more real given the dwindling energy supplies from Russia.

The six countries signed the memorandum of understanding ahead of the meeting of energy ministers in Luxembourg on Monday (June 27), under the EU’s 2019 risk preparedness regulation.

“I have just signed a memorandum of understanding with our European colleagues, from Eastern Europe, according to which we wish to help each other in terms of energy security”explained Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economics and Climate of Germany.

The agreement, seen by EURACTIV, states that the signatories “Wish to confirm their intention to maintain and strengthen their cooperation in risk preparedness in the electricity sector”.

As next winter approaches, when energy supplies from Russia are threatened, the six governments are coordinating their approach in advance to deal with the worst possible scenario.

Throughout the day, Mr Habeck tried to secure additional agreements with his fellow energy ministers.

“This morning and during the lunch break, we agreed on preliminary agreements or key points in the field of electricity and gas with neighboring countries in Eastern Europe and now in Southern Europe. East “he told reporters after lunch.

Keep the situation in mind

In order to facilitate and maintain contact, countries aim to “to bring together the relevant representatives of the ministries and the experts in the field of electricity” to prepare for a situation where electricity is so scarce that it “might not be resolved by market-based measures. »

These agreements will give rise to the creation of another working group, in which the countries are supposed to “regularly send their experts to working meetings (online or offline) to discuss the security of supply situation at national and regional levels”.

According to the agreement, even the contact details of the personnel concerned should be exchanged. Thus, the competent Slovak authority would receive, for example, the telephone number of Klaus Müller, director of the German Federal Network Agency.

Finally, in the event of an imminent crisis, or when confronted with a crisis, the competent ministries of the countries concerned intend to inform each other of the situation, the measures taken and planned at national level, as well as possible regional measures identified.

crisis diet

The measures mentioned in the event of an electricity crisis are the following: cross-border use of reserve capacities and flexible loads, monitoring of the security of short-term electricity supply, exchange of information on incentives to make public savings, electrical equipment support, knowledge and expertise, use of mobile generators and exchange of information on demand disconnect plans.

If the countries have agreed to go “beyond the existing rules and measures for assistance between TSOs[gestionnaires de réseau de transport]»the question of remuneration arises immediately.

Countries will strive to “to reach a financial agreement on fair and adequate compensation rules between countries”.

This agreement would cover at least the cost of assistance and electricity provided, as well as “other reasonable costs” such as legal and settlement fees.

Germany has already bolstered its reserve fleet of coal-fired power plants to prepare for the worst, while Austria has reversed its decision to phase out coal power in 2020.


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