A political feud between Kosovo and Serbia has slowed down millions of digital clocks on the Old Continent. European digital alarm clocks are currently ‘close to six minutes’ behind, according to recent estimates.
So, what has happened? Kosovo, which went on a separate way from Serbia in 2008, used more power than it generated. It was up to Serbia to correct the issue, but Belgrade refused. This led to cumulative effects in Europe’s standard electrical frequency, although they went unnoticed.
Since mid-January, the frequency lost 0.004 hertz, but millions of digital clocks, including those in radios, ovens, and other heating systems rely on an accurate frequency to measure time.
Many Europeans noticed the clocks slowed down and complained on Twitter. The deviation was caused by the Serbs’ inaction in correcting the deviation. Serbia has never recognized Kosovo as an independent state, and the dispute has affected many of their common projects like a 2015 plan to commonly run a power grid.
Millions of Digital Clocks Slowed Down in Europe
On Wednesday, The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said Kosovo addressed the shortage on Tuesday, which corrected the deviation.
- Nevertheless, the rest of the power system on the continent will take some time to reach the normal 50Hz frequency.
- The six-minute lag was still there at the moment we were writing this article.
ENTSO-E estimates the problem to be addressed in several weeks. It underlined that such issue has never occurred before in Europe. The agency also said that the missing energy issue will still need to be settled. Kosovo has to produce an extra 113 gigawatt hours (GWh) to make up for the loss.
ENTSO-E warned that if Serbia and Kosovo failed to reach a political solution, there would still be a risk of deviation.
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