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450 Megahertz to combat blackouts
'Die Welt' explores how radio frequency can prevent power cuts and stabilise regional networks

The electricity feed-ins of the innumerable small producers are almost impossible to coordinate. This results in an extremely challenging situation for network operators and utilities. Some of them are now calling on Germany’s government to create an exclusive communication channel to help solve this problem.

Millions of solar panels, wind turbines and other small generation plants are feeding electricity into the public grid. So far, however, it has been impossible to determine who, when and how much. And that creates problems that go beyond just settling bills. A perhaps more important issue for network operators is that uncoordinated feed-ins destablise the electricity network.

Up until now, there was no cause for concern. But more and more producers are generating electricity, especially from volatile energy sources such as the wind and sun, and feeding it into the grid. And in the future thousands and maybe even millions of decentralised energy storage units such as automobile batteries and night storage heaters may be used to balance out load and production peaks which occur at different times.

In order to coordinate all of these energy sources more effectively, a group of utilities and the north German network operator EWE Netz are requesting that the German government reserve the 450 megahertz frequency for communications between power plants and network operators. This will not only help to stabilise the regional electricity networks, it will also reduce the consequences and duration of power outages, regardless of the cause.

In his article in the newspaper Welt entitled “Using the 450 megahertz frequency to prevent blackouts“, Welt editor Daniel Wetzel explains how this is supposed to work and why specifically 450 megahertz is the desired frequency.

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