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Wind power, Biedesheim, Germany. Photo credit: Karsten Würth

German insurers warn about total power blackout

The German Insurance Association (GDV) has warned of the danger of blackouts for Germany and Europe. "Unfortunately, we in Germany are not sufficiently prepared for the consequences of a nationwide power blackout," according to GDV chief executive Jörg Asmussen. The manufactured crisis in Ukraine is putting huge pressure on Germany to halt Russian gas from NordStream2.

Published: February 17, 2022, 8:53 am

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    According to dpa, as with the Corona pandemic, the losses in the event of a blackout would be too high for insurers to absorb on their own. “Some consequences of a blackout can be absorbed with the help of insurance, but not all,” Asmussen underscored.

    In a previous published statement, GDV had highlighted the dangers of a power supply collapse. “A long-lasting, widespread power blackout is considered by experts to be the worst disaster scenario. More destructive than all natural hazards, more devastating than a pandemic,” it said.

    As early as 2011, the Institute for Technology Assessment in Karlsruhe had come to the conclusion that in the event of a nationwide power blackout, “a collapse of the entire society could hardly be prevented”.

    In its recent letter, the association quoted a department head at the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance: “A blackout is currently one of the greatest risks for our country”.

    Public transport and retail would come to a standstill, and in the long term the collapse of public order as a whole looms. “The first people die because they can no longer provide for themselves, vital medicines are missing or medical equipment no longer works. Piles of rubbish pile up on the streets and attract rats. Diseases start to spread because people eat spoiled food and drink contaminated water.” Eventually looting and violence follow.

    Insurers blasted Germany’s energy transition policy. “In this questionable situation, Germany and Europe are tackling one of the largest infrastructure projects in history: the energy transition. For energy suppliers and grid operators, this means a permanent stress test.”

    Rising tensions between the gas supplier Russia and the transit country Ukraine, threatens the security of energy supply in Germany and electricity prices have risen sharply. Power cuts are also becoming more frequent.

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