BNetzA: Security of Supply Remains High Despite Slight Rise in Average Electricity Interruptions in 2012

System interruptions in the electricity sector measured according to the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) rose slightly from 15.31 minutes in 2011 to 15.91 minutes in 2012, yet  were still well below the average of 17.44 minutes in the period from 2006 to 2010, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) reported. President Jochen Homann excluded a significant influence of the German energy policy shift towards a renewable energy supply and from an increasingly decentralised electricity input.

As in 2011 the slight increase of the average duration of power interruptions was due to an increase in the medium-voltage level, while interruptions decreased in the low-voltage level, Mr Homann said. In the medium-voltage level disruptions caused by third parties and due to repercussions (Rückwirkungsstörung) increased for a second consecutive year. BNetzA considers disruptions due to the malfunctioning of upstream or downstream grids, in customer installations or power plants connected grid as repercussions (Rückwirkungsstörungen).

According to the German Energy Act (Section 52 EnWG) German electricity grid operators have to submit an annual report regarding the security of the energy supply, stating the time, duration, extent and cause of interruptions, which occurred in the last calendar year. For 2012 866 grid operators reported 191,000 interruptions in 883 grids.

The SAIDI value, however, does not show all interruptions. It neither includes planned interruptions nor interruptions due to force majeure. SAIDi only records unplanned interruptions resulting from atmospheric effects, actions of third parties, repercussions from other grids and other malfunctions in the sphere of the grid operators. Besides the interruption of the electricity supply has to last longer than three minutes. Last year the industry association for energy-intensive companies VIK reported  a 30% increase in these short term interruptions. The association claimed that 90% of all the interruptions affecting the industry were not recorded by BNetzA.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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