2021 has started with a stress test for the power supply all over Europe: on January 8, the continent barely scraped past a blackout. An explanatory video produced by Austrian Power Grid (APG) summarizes the most important events of the day. Once more it becomes evident: a strong grid is the foundation for the security of power supply and a successful energy transition.
APG operates and controls the Austria-wide high-voltage transmission grid and manages the international energy exchange. And in case of the disturbance in January the system operators at the APG control center in Vienna played a leading role in troubleshooting. Large-scale blackouts all over Europe could only be avoided thanks to the rapid reaction and good cooperation of all national TSOs.
FREQUENCY DISTURBANCE IN EUROPE: THE SIMULATION
Europe needs electricity: secure and renewable
A secure power supply cannot be taken for granted. APG’s CTO Gerhard Christiner describes the most essential requirements of the future in a nutshell: “If the entire electricity demand is to be covered with renewables – in Austria until 2030, Europe-wide until 2050 – an accelerated expansion and modernization of the grid infrastructure is necessary, as well as system-wide planning approaches and the utilization of all possible flexibility options (in the fields of the economy, industry and aggregators) by applying intelligent digital platform technologies. If we are not able to achieve this, not only the energy transition but also the security of supply in Austria is seriously jeopardized, because the electricity from renewables cannot be properly distributed.” Until 2030 an expansion by a total of 27 TWh of green energy is projected, 11 TWh (11,000 MW) of which is to be contributed by photovoltaic facilities (PV), 10 TWh (5,000 MW) by wind power, 5 TWh (1,250 MW) by hydropower and 1 TWh (200 MW) by solid biomass.
Great interest of the general public
The simulation is available as of today and illustrates the events on the day of the Europe-wide disturbance: What happened? What were the causes and how could the power supply be maintained? “With our popular scientific explanatory video we wanted to react to the need for information of the general public who showed huge interest in the frequency disturbance in Europe on January 8,“ explains company spokesperson Christoph Schuh the motive for producing the video which is available in German and English.