by Markus Stolz

Feeling powerless?

byMarkus Stolz
September 22, 2009, 0 Comments

Electric PowerThe summer season is slowly coming to an end, so I should be able to become more productive again. The reason for this is not what you might expect – it is simply that power outages are less frequent when temperatures start cooling down.

According to Eurostat, Athens is the 5th most populated capital city in the EU. Approximately 40% of the total Greek population lives in Athens. The average temperature during the months of July and August is 27.8 degrees Celsius with over 11 hours of sunshine per day.


When it is that hot, the inhabitants use their air-conditioning systems at home and in the offices. The electricity grid becomes overloaded, which in turn leads to power-cuts. The unfortunate part is that these power-failures quite often last for between 1 and 2 hours.

Last year, in order to prevent large power-outages, the Greek state controlled electric power company implemented a programme that was well intended, but badly thought through. They rotated controlled power-blackouts throughout the different municipals of Athens. Every outage lasted for 2 hours and every municipal was hit every couple of days. This programme lasted for several weeks. The result was that during these view weeks, I was longer without electricity than in the combined three years before.

The initiative was well planned – every evening the power company updated their website and showed at what time which area would be without electricity over the next 24 hour period. There was just one day when they mixed up the times: We had invited nearly 20 friends for dinner. We started preparing the food three hours before our friends were due to arrive. An hour later the power in our area was cut. It went back on when we greeted our first guests. I have never opened that many bottles of wine before dinner was served :)

I might add that power outages will increase again during February and March. In these 2 months, heavy snowfalls can occur. In most countries, you use a shovel to get rid of the snow. Greeks don’t like to waste energy for jobs that can be accomplished in a more relaxing way: They use hot water as a remedy…

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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.