Serbia-Kosovo spat delays electric clocks in Europe
A long-running political dispute between Serbia and Kosovo is spilling into Europe’s power network and delaying electric clocks across the Continent, electricity transmission system operators warned this week.
An unprecedented drop since mid-January in the frequency average in Continental Europe’s power system, stretching from Spain to Turkey, Poland and the Netherlands, is affecting “electric clocks that are steered by the frequency of the power system and not by a quartz crystal,” according to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The area covers 25 countries — most of the European continent.
The clocks, which typically include radios, oven clocks, and clocks that program heating systems, are now delayed by close to six minutes, ENTSO-E said. The Continental European power system “is experiencing a continuous system frequency deviation from the mean value of 50 [Hertz].”
The issue originated in Kosovo and Serbia, the network said. It’s not yet clear who will compensate for the missing energy, which currently amounts to 113 gigawatt hours.
Transmission system operators are “exploring all technical options” to solve the issue, and called on European governments to “urgently” find a political solution to the problem.
Serbia has refused to recognize Kosovo since it declared independence in 2008, and the dispute includes energy regulatory issues.
“The political conflict has electric consequences,” Susanne Nies, an ENTSO-E spokeswoman, said Wednesday.