A stress test for Europe’s power supply began in 2021: on January 8, the continent just missed a blackout. An explanatory video from Austrian Power Grid (APG) shows the most important events of the day. Once again, it becomes clear that a strong network is the basis for a secure power supply and the success of the energy transition.
APG operates and controls the Austria-wide power grid at the high voltage level and manages the international energy exchange. In this country, the system operators in the APG control center in Vienna played a leading role in troubleshooting. It is only thanks to the rapid reaction and good cooperation of all national network operators that large-scale power outages have not occurred.
Europe needs electricity: safe and renewable
A secure power supply is by no means a matter of course. Gerhard Christiner, Chief Technology Officer at APG, sums up the essential requirements of the future: “If the entire electricity demand is to be covered by renewable energies – in Austria by 2030, Europe-wide by 2050 – this urgently requires an accelerated expansion of the electricity infrastructure, overall systemic planning approaches and the use of new flexibility options in sectors such as trade and industry. With the creation of intelligent digital platform technologies, we enable the integration of decentralized flexibilities into the electricity system. If we do not manage the necessary network expansion and conversion as well as the use of platform technologies, the secure power supply in Austria and the entire energy transition will be at stake, because the renewable electricity cannot be distributed nationwide.“A total of 27 TWh of green electricity is planned to be expanded in Austria by 2030, of which 11 TWh (11,000 MW) will be used for photovoltaics (PV), 10 TWh (5,000 MW) for wind power, 5 TWh (1,250 MW) for hydropower and 1 TWh (200 MW) on solid biomass.
Great interest in the population
The simulation available since today illustrates the events on the day of the Europe-wide disruption: What happened? What was the cause and how could the power supply be maintained? “With our popular science video, we are responding to the population’s need for information, who showed great interest in European frequency interference on January 8th,“Explains company spokesman Christoph Schuh the motivation behind the production. The video is available in German and English.