Germany sees slight increase of power outages for first time in years
Clean Energy Wire
Germany experienced its first increase in power supply cuts since 2017 last year, largely due to a single accident at a transformer station and floods, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) reported. The average duration of interruptions per connected end consumer increased by 1.97 minutes to 12.7 minutes compared to 2020. "The reliability of the power supply in Germany was again very high in 2021,” said BNetzA president Klaus Müller. An accident at a substation involving a metal-coated balloon played a significant role in increasing disturbances on the medium voltage grid, while flooding was also responsible, the agency noted. 850 network operators reported a total of 166,615 supply interruptions in low and medium voltage in 2021.
The German power supply is among the most reliable worldwide and the average outage time has continuously fallen in recent years as the expansion of wind and solar power sources progressed. From all unplanned interruptions that are not due to events of force majeure, the grid agency calculates its System Average Interruption Duration Index, which reflects the average supply interruption per connected end consumer and voltage level within a calendar year. Extreme events, such as the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley, are considered force majeure and are not included in the calculation.