Wild Weather: The Number of Power Outages Expected to Rise

A study involving the JKU shows that climate change increases the risk of power outages.

The costs per household were also calculated at the same time. There is an increase of risk weather-induced power outages due to temperature changes as predicted by climate experts and the associated accumulation of extreme weather events. In this context and in order to base precautionary measures on sound data, it is important to estimate the damage costs caused by power outages.

A study conducted in 19 EU countries explored the expected household damage costs in the event of a power outage. The findings showed that household damage, among other things, depends strongly on the local temperatures and will increase under the usual weather forecast. The analysis was based on evaluated data estimating each participating household’s willingness to pay in order to avoid various scenarios of power outages. The analyses showed that losses between 32 cents and € 1.86 per hour per household can be expected. These values vary significantly between seasons and states. This shows that under current climatic conditions, higher losses due to a power outage can be expected during winter than during the summer months. However, by looking at climate models we see an increasing shift in this dynamic and as a result of global warming, power outages will increase significantly during the summer months while the damage costs due to power outages during winter will slightly increase.