Electricity Supply Interruptions – Sectoral Interdependencies and the Cost of Energy Not Served for the Scottish Economy

The power sector has a central role in modern economies and other interdependent infrastructures rely heavily upon secure electricity supplies. Due to interdependencies, major electricity supply interruptions result in cascading effects in other sectors of the economy. This paper investigates the economic effects of large power supply disruptions taking such interdependencies into account. We apply a dynamic inoperability input–output model (DIIM) to 101 sectors (including households) of the Scottish economy in 2009 in order to explore direct, indirect, and induced effects of electricity supply interruptions. We then estimate the societal cost of energy not supplied (SCENS) due to interruption, in the presence of interdependency among the sectors. The results show that the most economically affected industries, following an outage, can be different from the most inoperable ones. The results also indicate that SCENS varies with duration of a power cut, ranging from around £4300/MWh for a one-minute outage to around £8100/MWh for a three hour (and higher) interruption. The economic impact of estimates can be used to design policies for contingencies such as roll-out priorities as well as preventive investments in the sector.

Executive Summary

By: Rahmat Poudineh , Tooraj Jamasb

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