Quality of supply regulations versus societal priorities regarding electricity outage consequences: Case study in a Swedish context

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Abstract

Modern society is increasingly dependent on a reliable supply of electricity. Depending on where an electricity outage occurs and who is affected the consequences may range from a mere nuisance to major economic losses or actual threats against the health and safety of citizens. The direct costs of power outages have been assessed in numerous studies, however electricity outages normally also entail indirect costs as well as societal costs. Examples of the latter include impairment of societal functions, impact on health and even loss of life. It is unclear to what extent quality of supply regulations are capturing indirect and societal costs. To address this, a case study is here carried out for electricity customers in a city in Sweden. We investigate to what extent two Swedish quality of supply regulations are reflected in the societal priorities embodied in the Swedish Styrel system. The Styrel system has been in operation since 2011 and is designed to be used during times of power shortage at a national level to prioritize power supply to customers based on their importance for society. Results from the study indicate that electricity customers that are critical for maintaining life and health or vital societal functions seems not to be given due attention in the present regulations.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infrastructure Engineering
  • Public Administration Studies

Keywords

  • Critical infrastructure, Electricity supply, Outage compensation, Outage cost, Quality of supply regulation, Societal cost, Vital societal functions
Original languageEnglish
Article number100307
JournalInternational Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection
Volume26
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes