European Power Grid Narrowly Misses Widespread Blackout As Frequency Drops Suddenly

Last Friday, January 8, 2021, Europe narrowly escaped a blackout, says power grid expert

A European power grid disturbance occurred at around 2 p.m. according to the Austrian Power Grid (APG). The normal frequency for Europe is 50 Hz and on Friday afternoon it dropped sharply to 49.75 Hz.

“A larger supply area must have broken away,” blackout expert Herbert Saurugg told futurezone.

Saurugg tweeted:

european power grid narrowly misses widespread blackout as frequency drops suddenly - European Power Grid Narrowly Misses Widespread Blackout As Frequency Drops Suddenly


“WTF just happened there? #Europe must have really just scraped past a #blackout. This time the normal range was clearly left, not as usual” (Image cropped from Twitter)

“According to Saurugg, who has been involved in crisis management for years, this is the second most serious incident since the blackout in Europe in 2006, when the shutdown of two high-voltage lines in Germany led to a drop in frequency. As a result, power failed in several European countries. Fortunately, this did not happen on Friday, but it was close.” reported futurezone.

Saurugg added: “Normally, the European power grid is synchronized to compensate for possible fluctuations. If the frequency drops too low, this synchronization will be automatically interrupted. A so-called temporary grid splitting occurs, in which the interconnected grid is divided.”

Saurugg also said a similar incident in Europe took place on January 10, 2019.

The cause of the latest disturbance is still under investigation but officials believe it may have occurred in south-eastern Europe.

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Updated: January 11, 2021 — 12:12 am

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