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Businesses at risk from unstable renewable energy: Stay protected

Solar panels and wind turbines are a "volatile" source of power with fluctuations in the electricity supply risking "grid instabilities" and triggering wide-scale blackouts.

Ageing infrastructure and increasingly cross-border electricity networks have heightened the likelihood of a devastating collapse of power supplies lasting months and covering several continents, according to the joint report by Allianz and the Chief Risk Officer Forum.

In eastern Germany, turbines in strong wind can produce more than all German coal and gas plants put together, while the need to switch off turbines in high winds causes a drop-off in electricity of 12GW - equal to two nuclear power plants. Outages are likely if there is too little demand or storage capacity to accommodate the jumps in supply.

Leading risk analysts modelled a worst-case scenario in which transformers are knocked out in the United States, causing outages to cascade through the grid into Canada, Russia and Scandanavia.
 

Credit cards and cash machines would stop immediately, and petrol pumps and refineries would shut-down within six hours. Back-up generators powering hospitals, stock exchanges, emergency services and sewerage plants could run out of fuel within days.

The article in full can be found at: The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/8909585/Green-energy-could-trigger-catastrophic-blackouts.html


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