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Impact Assessment

Start date or Starting Event: 4


In this Work Package the direct and indirect damage costs of blackouts are determined – along with the public effects of a supply interruption. A software tool is developed that allows the user to determine the damage costs of households, commercial and industrial sector of real blackouts ad-hoc. Furthermore this tool gives precise estimates of the damage costs of user-defined blackout scenarios.

To complete the objectives of WP2 about 6.000 volunteers in all 27 member states of the EU will be interviewed. They will be asked 1. about their habits regarding the consumption of electricity and 2. they will asked to state their preferences regarding different levels of the reliability of electricity supply. To protect the privacy of the involved volunteers, all partners and subcontractors fully comply with relevant National and EU Directives on data protection and provide the EU with copies of the appropriate authorizations obtained from data protection authorities.

Further information about how the project consortium will guarantee the protection of the privacy of the involved volunteers is given in sec. 4.

Output of WP2 that is used as input for WP4:

  • Impact assessment simulation tool


Description of work

  • Task 2.1 – Business Dependencies (Leading Partner: EI-JKU)
    In this work step the dependencies of the different commercial, industrial and public service branches on an uninterrupted supply with electricity in the 27 member states are analysed. Dependency on electricity as well as preparedness to proceed with business activities in the case of a blackout is massively heterogeneous between braches and countries.

  • Task 2.2 – Household Dependencies (Leading Partner: EI-JKU)
    In this work step households of the 27 member states are analysed regarding their utilization of electricity and their vulnerability in case of a blackout.

  • Task 2.3 – Damage Costs of the Commercial Sector (Leading Partner: EI-JKU)
    In this work step the damage costs of the commercial sector are determined by a full bottom-up model.
    For each member state a list is given that contains the damage costs of blackouts per branch on different scales. This means that not only the overall damage costs are given per branch, but also the value of the lost megawatt-hour is reported. These figures represent an index for the sector’s dependency on an uninterrupted supply with electricity and show where the highest economic vulnerabilities are.
    • The proceeding is to first develop a function for the lost values of a company during a blackout. Explanatory variables of this function are the value added, the branch, the size of the company, …
    • In a second step a function is developed that estimates the rate of these lost values, which will be outweighed by the company in an appropriate time.
    • The third step is to collect data from official statistics and a survey and to estimate the functions from the two previous steps.
    • The previous steps result in damage costs of representative companies of different size and from different branches throughout Europe. In this final step the identified costs are generalized and estimates of the overall damage costs are given on the national level (for each branch).

  • Task 2.4 – Damage Costs of Households (Leading Partner: EI-JKU)
    In this work step the damage costs of the household sector are determined by a full bottom-up model. The inclusion of monetized lost values of households is extraordinary important. Only if household damages are fully incorporated, the economic welfare of investments in the supply security is estimated consistently. Otherwise economic rating of potential investments might be biased towards favouring the commercial sector.
    The methodology used for this work step is well established in the scientific literature and is fully in line with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Panel guidelines.
    • In the first step an econometric model is developed that incorporates all possible determinants of the experienced lost values of European households during a blackout. Explanatory variables are demographic as well as geographic factors.
    • A questionnaire is built up that allows households to state their preferences regarding different power outage scenarios. Furthermore this questionnaire elicits all explanatory variables for the estimation of the econometric model.
    • The questionnaire is tested in multiple simulation studies to explore its robustness against outliers and its ability to catch the expected heterogeneity among the participants.
    • A Europe-wide representative survey is undertaken to obtain answers on the finalised questionnaire.
    • The collected data is fit to the econometric model.

  • Task 2.5 – Public Effects of a Blackout (Leading Partner: Delo)
    In this work step the impact of a large-scale interruption of electricity supply on public confidence, physical suffering and disruption of daily life (including the loss of essential services) is studied.



This Work packages gives 2 Deliverables:

  • Del 2.1 – Impact Assessment simulation tool
    Here a tool is given that evaluates the impact of a failure of the overall energy system. The losses will be expressed in monetary units (for businesses and households). These damage costs can be given per country, per city, or for any demographic sub-group such as retirees (for households) or SMEs (for the commercial sector).
    Security Sensitive: NO

  • Del 2.2 – Public Effects Knowledge Base
    The impacts of a blackout on sub-infrastructures (water, traffic, …) are given in a comprehensive report. A socio-economic analysis of the threat perceptions of households is given – along with the households’ risk-aversion. High-risk groups are identified, such as e.g. elderly people or residents of isolated regions (high alpine areas, …).
    Security Sensitive: ?