The German government has approved plans for the first-ever nationwide rollout of the nation’s electricity grid for the summer, as it struggles to cope with the massive power surge from the country’s biggest ever earthquake.
The announcement was made by the Federal Energy Administration on Wednesday and follows months of talks with utility companies and regulators as the country grapples with the damage from the March 8 quake and subsequent aftershocks.
The decision follows months in which the government has struggled to agree on what the grid should look like.
The grid, which will include gas-fired plants and diesel-electric plants, will be divided into three grids: the large, intermediate and small grids.
Large grids, or power plants, would have to switch to gas or diesel to meet peak demand during peak demand periods.
The intermediate grid would have no power.
The government has already set up a commission to design and build the grids and is working with the utilities to decide on the best design for the medium-sized grid.
In Germany, about 20 percent of the electricity generated is generated by large-scale plants, according to the Energy Ministry.
That is the biggest single share of the total power generation in the country.