I’ve got the power!

23 02 2012

One of my students pointed something out to me today that totally shocked me.

Germany’s power lines are underground!

It’s something I had never thought about – not seeing any power lines here. But he’s totally right. And what’s more, I definitely remember noticing the presence of above-ground power lines the last time I went back home to the US for a visit.

For example, take a look at this cute picture of my parents in Ocean City, Maryland last summer:

See?

What a funny difference! In our apartment here next to the train station there are power lines, of course, but that’s because of the trains. You don’t see them in other places in the city.

My student said that he didn’t understand why it’s that way in the US, because then power lines are more susceptible to the weather. Florida, for example, which always has multiple hurricanes every year, must be constantly repairing power lines that have been blown over by the strong winds. He said that in his whole life, he had never had a power outage in Germany. Unlike the several times I’ve gone days without power due to bad weather in the USA. So I guess underground power lines might be the way to go…except for maybe in California or an earthquake-prone place.

Has anyone else noticed this before?

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3 responses

23 02 2012
Peter

I doubt it’s ALL of Germany though, is it? Normally it’s just in cities. DC and NYC, for example, don’t have any above ground power lines.

23 02 2012
sarahgilmour

Well, I obviously can’t account for ALL of Germany. That could be right about the cities. Hopefully someone will chime in on that note.

I just looked through all my old road trip pictures though and didn’t notice any power lines there either.

But that totally makes sense about the big cities! No room for that kind of thing!

24 02 2012
ian in hamburg

Underground power lines have clear benefits not only because of the safety angle you mentioned, but it looks better, too. You can go to the tiniest little place here and there won’t be unsightly power lines. But then again, electricity is expensive here, and taxes are high. You get what you pay for, I guess

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