Representatives from the utility industry say that severe weather conditions owed to climate change can threaten grid operations which increases the need for resilience, says Accenture

aevere weather conditions can threaten grid operations
Image by NOAA from Unsplash

– The Electrical India Content Team

Digitally Enabled Grid, is a research carried out by Accenture, the research involved a survey of over 200 electric utility executives in 28 countries in five continents. The research showed that nearly three-quarters – (73%) of survey respondents said that extreme weather could present a challenge to network operations and safety, 88% said that maintaining network resilience to extreme weather conditions could result in significant increase in network prices for customers. And that only one-quarter (24%) believe that their businesses are well prepared to deal with extreme weather – one in 12 (8%) reporting as poorly prepared for such a circumstance.

Stephanie Jamison, Global Industry – Senior Managing Director, Accenture – Utilities Business, said: “With various parts of the world affected by drought, wildfires and flooding, in addition to the US hurricane season, climate change is increasing the frequency and the intensity of extreme weather conditions, and this can impact the electricity grid.”  Greater system flexibility, he added, delivered through digital and emerging technologies will be critical for grid optimization. For instance, an active management of available network redundancy, distributed generation and energy storage can help maintain power delivery during severe weather events and speed service restoration after network failures.

Providing a different perspective, Sanjeev Arora, Managing Director and Lead – Resources, Accenture in India, said: “Around the world, high-impact weather-related events are becoming more frequent and more severe. In 2018, India’s southern state of Kerala suffered its worst monsoon flooding in a century severely impacting the electricity distribution infrastructure in the flood-ravaged areas. Events like this and Cyclone Fani in 2019 in eastern India have shown us the impact of extreme weather conditions in disrupting network operations.” Adding, he said that utilities need a forward-looking, holistic and flexible grid resilience strategy, this paired with the right regulatory measures, proactive investments and maintenance so that we could bounce back quickly from major and even multiple events.

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