Continuity of supply: Power outage and interruption statistics for the Austrian electricity grid
In 2017, the average unplanned interruption in electricity in the Austrian electricity grid was around 30 minutes per customer. This equates to a 99.99 per cent continuity of supply for Austria.
One of the most important principles of Österreichs E-Wirtschaft is that customers must be reliably guaranteed a continuous supply of electricity. For this reason, the average time span in which Austrian households were not supplied with electricity is calculated annually.
The electricity downtime in 2017 averaged 30.33 minutes for unannounced power interruptions. Conversely, this means that the supply of electricity in Austria is 99.99 per cent guaranteed; a very good figure. In comparison with previous years, the downtime is slightly higher than last year.
In 2017 the average duration of planned power outages due to announced maintenance work was around fifteen minutes. Total non-availability due to power outages consisting of planned and unplanned disruptions, including regional exceptional events, was 45.05 minutes in 2017.
In comparison internationally, Austria has an above-average continuity of supply. In order to maintain this high level it is necessary to ensure appropriate framework conditions and investment incentives for the expansion and maintenance of the grid infrastructure.
Austria ranks high in the international comparison of continuity of supply
Statistics on power outages are gathered in many countries in the EU. Compared to other countries Austria performs very well. See 6th CEER Benchmarking Report on the Quality of Electricity Supply. The lower unavailability in Germany or also in the Netherlands can be explained by the lower influence of extreme weather conditions as well as by differences in geographical conditions as well as population density. The continuity of supply in Austria is strongly influenced by weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall and storms, freezing rain or floods.
For example, in 2008, storms Emma and Paula had a devastating impact. Since some parts of Austria were severely affected by these storms, the associated power outages were not included in the statistics in accordance with legislation.
In the past year, there were less than five minutes of power outages due to supply disruptions classified as regional exceptional events.
Austria as a business location: invest in power grids at the right time
Something special about the continuity of supply is that it cannot be changed directly by active measures. If it starts to deteriorate, countermeasures, such as modernising facilities, will be very slow to have an effect. The quality of supply can substantially deteriorate suddenly and cannot be brought to its original level, even with considerable effort.
The economic damage caused by one hour of power failure is considerable and, in the worst case, if the transmission grid fails, can amount to several million euros per hour. The impact on the industry can be serious. It is therefore clearly evident that this non-availability ratio is vital for Austria as a business location. In view of these facts, Oesterreichs Energie considers it urgently necessary for the regulatory authority to set the course for grid regulation in order to be able to offer a high continuity of supply in the future as well.
Latest power outage and interruption statistics
The power outage and interruption statistics are collected and published annually in accordance with the Electricity Statistics Order 2001 of the BMWA (BGBl. II No. 486/2001).