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German power causing problems for Austria

Germany has been accused by the Austrian Energie Control of neglecting Austria's interests when considering changes in their power supply market.

Martin Graf, a Director of the E-Control body responsible for monitoring and regulating Austria's gas and power markets, has said that Germany should consider it's neighbours as it thinks about rewarding domestic utilities for having gas-powered stations on standby in case greener power supplies fail.

Austria has seen many gas-powered utilities move from Germany to Austria, since the Germans began focusing on expanding their green energy market.

"Austria is offering Germany pumped power storage and huge gas storage possibilities and helps provide system stability on German power grids in the winter. Therefore it should be consulted when there are market changes in Germany," said Graf.

Graf has also voiced concerns that Austria may be burdened with costs as Germany and neighbouring countries try to find a solution to stop an unwanted 2000 megawatt power surge that is constantly being pushed on to Austria power grids.

The surge comes from Northern Germany, flowing into Austria through Polish and Czech Republic power grids and can cause power cuts or shut down systems.

Discussions over how to deal to with the power surge have been going on for two years, and last month the Czech power grid agency announced that it is partnering Germany and possibly Poland to install transformers that would prevent excess power flows.

Graf has warned however that these would only divert flows which may mean Austria would have to pay the price of coping with an even bigger surge. "If Germany and Poland work on deals to remedy this, we may end up being landed with higher costs," he said.

Another option would be for Austria to push the surge back using it's power capabilities, although it's not clear who would pay for this.

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