Power Outages Hit Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia Amongst Heatwave Havoc

Power Outages Hit Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia Amongst Heatwave Havoc

London - Four Balkan countries experienced widespread power outages lasting several hours on Friday due to a region-wide heatwave. Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, and large parts of the Croatian coast were affected as households turned on air-conditioning to combat soaring temperatures, leading to a surge in electricity demand.

The blackouts, which began around 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT), disrupted daily life across the affected areas. In Bosnia and Croatia, traffic lights went dark, causing transportation chaos in major cities like Sarajevo and Split. Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, saw water pumps and other essential services grind to a halt.

Power suppliers managed to restore most of the electricity by the evening, but the exact cause of the failures in the interconnected power systems of these four countries remained under investigation. Reports from Montenegro suggested a potential link between the outages and a fire in a power transmission line near the Bosnian border.

The outages had significant repercussions for tourism in Croatian resorts, particularly in Dubrovnik, where closures of restaurants, pubs, and supermarkets left tourists inconvenienced. Temperatures in the region soared close to 40°C throughout the afternoon, exacerbating the strain on the already stressed power infrastructure.

According to Montenegro's Energy Minister Sasa Mujovic, the sudden spike in electricity consumption due to the extreme heat was identified as the primary cause. Although efforts to transition to renewable energy sources like solar power are underway in the western Balkans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the current power infrastructure remains inadequate to fully support these changes, industry officials noted.

Officials in Albania warned of a continued risk of further blackouts due to ongoing high energy usage. The incidents highlight the challenges faced by the region in balancing energy demand during peak periods of extreme weather, underscoring the need for continued investment in modernizing and reinforcing the power grid infrastructure.

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