* Networks need reserve options as some nuclear power is
* Some 2,500 MW of extra capacity needed again, of which
2,000 MW is contracted
* Regulator worried by unclear longer term scenarios
MUNICH, Sept 10 Germany can secure enough
emergency electricity capacity to get through the winter, should
there be tight supply on transmission networks, its energy
regulator on Tuesday.
"The situation is tight but under control, there will not be
black-outs," Jochen Homann, president of the Bundesnetzagentur
told an energy conference in Munich, days before his Sept. 15
deadline for reporting back to government on the situation.
The problem of potential energy shortages will remain for
years as nuclear plants in southern Germany are closed quicker
than grids are revamped, Homann said. In the 2012/2013 season,
Germany's power network came under pressure once in late March.
The regulator took 2,500 megawatts (MW) in capacity reserve
under contract last winter to ensure steady power supply, a task
made more difficult since Germany in the summer of 2011 shut 40
percent of its nuclear plants.
Homann said that transmission system companies (TSOs) that
he supervises had already secured broadly 2,000 MW and that
solutions for the other 500 MW "would be found in the coming
weeks, if needs be via auctions."
A planned revival of a closed E.ON coal-to-power
block Staudinger 1 near Frankfurt fell through as the closure
turned out to be too far advanced to be reversed before the
Utilities are phasing out power plants in a depressed market
- some 15 sites have applied to close. Homann's authority has to
approve the plans under laws safeguarding supply security.
Most of these would not affect the stability of the overall
power grid but this could change in 2015, when E.ON's
Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant is to shut in the industrial
south, where power demand is highest, he said.
Homann also said he was concerned about the increase of
network interventions that grid managers had reported - these
stress cables and lines and raise the risk of local disruptions.
Hours in which such activities were necessary rose to 7,200
hours a year in 2012 from 5,000 in 2011 and 1,800 in 2010, he
"I don't think this figure will be going down," he added.
(Reporting Vera Eckert and Jens Hack, editing by William Hardy)