Can a dispute between two countries slow down time? Well, in the case of Kosovo and Serbia it does and this is exactly what happened in mid-January 2018 where up to six minutes have been “lost” on all European electric clocks!
According to a press released by Entsoe, the association that represents Electricity Transmission Operators in 25 European countries, electric clocks, central heating timers as well as clocks on electrical appliances (e.g. ovens and microwaves) have slowed down due to the Kosovo-Serbia row that has affected Europe’s electricity grid. Here’s why.
The countries from Spain to Turkey and from Poland to the Netherlands are part of a large area of Europe connected to a common electricity network operating in synchronized frequency. This frequency regulates time on some devices and objects, such as the ones mentioned above. (the article continues after the ad)
During the crisis, Kosovo did not produce enough electricity to meet its needs and, according to Entsoe, Serbia was legally obliged to respond to the request of Kosovo in order to keep the European network stable. The two countries, however, disagreed on the issue, and Serbia didn’t produce the necessary electricity, leading to a frequency deviation that disrupted the 50 Hz cycle in which the European electricity grid operates. This slowed down clocks and Europeans eventually “lost” six minutes!
On March 6, 2018, the problem was solves when Kosovo produced the energy it needed. By the way, computers and smart phones were not affected.
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Sources: [Press Release] Continuing frequency deviation in the Continental European Power System originating in Serbia/Kosovo: Political solution urgently needed in addition to technical