Shortly before the spread of the virus COVID19, VDE FNN had already initiated the revision of the Crisis Management Guidelines and an update of the Resource Register. The experience gained from the measures deployed by different actors in the power industry will of course be incorporated into these documents.
Information to help keeping the lights on during a pandemic
This site provides you with up-to-date international news as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to deal with a pandemic in network operation. Information provided on this site is non-exhaustive.
FAQ providing Information for the German power industry are available here.
Impact on the European Power Sector from Eurelectric
Latest analysis on the impact from COVID19 on the European power sector, from boosting in-feed of renewables in the grid to delaying infrastructure plans for integration of EV.
Eurelectric published a report in early March highlighting the different approaches from EU states:
COVID19 impact in Australia
Daily Information on the impact of COVID19 in Australian and international Industry.
Policy and Regulatory Best Practices in ICT (International)
The Global Network Resiliency Platform (#REG4COVID) is an initiative from the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) to collect information about policy and regulatory measures in the area of ICT from all over the world.
Utilities that have and have not suspended disconnects amid COVID-19 (US)
The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) in the US is collecting data about which utilities are suspending disconnections as well as public institutions requesting also requesting these suspensions in the US. Energy providers around the world but also within countries, as in the US, have different approaches to the crisis.
Coronavirus and Your National Grid Service: What to Know (US)
Live-Ticker by National Grid USA about Coronavirus and Your National Grid Service - What to Know:
Covid-19 live timeline from power-technology.com (International)
Live-Ticker by provide of news about the Energy sector power-technology.com about the reponse to COVID19 internationally:
UK regulator Ofgem on COVID-19 (UK)
The UK Regulator Ofgem answers questions on how to deal with the COVID 19 crisis in the energy sector. For example: what to do if the energy supply is disrupted and how can Smart Meter Installation take place:
COVID-19 Wind Power Updates
Daily information on the impact of COVID19 on the international wind power sector
Utility Crisis Management Webinars for best-practices exchange (International)
Webinars for Exchange of best-practices in different regions around the world are being organized by Clarion Events and are free to participate.
For more Information follow: https://www.esi-africa.com/industry-sectors/business-and-markets/urgent-discussions-on-utilities-response-to-covid-19-crisis/
International Weekly Exchange: EPRI calls upon operators around the world to exchange best-practices
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) from the States is organizing weekly calls to exchange best-practices in network operation in times of the Corona crisis. Up to 500 professionals have participated in these webcasts to report and learn about preparations and practices in transmission and distrbution. EPRI also offers a higher-level analysis of the impact on system demand profiles in different regions.
If you have interest in participating in these calls, you can contact them directly via email: COVID19-GRID-IMPACTS@epri.com
27.05.2020: IEA Analysis of impacts on investments into a sustainable system (International)
IEA presents an analysis on how the COVID19 crisis is impacting investments to develop a sustainable power system, with consequences on ensuring security of supply.
14.05.2020: Cyberattack to IT infrastructure supporting the UK electricity market (UK)
The administrator of the UK power grid, Elexon, in charge of balancing the energy flows between National Grid and energy companies, suffered a cyberattack on their IT infrastructure. An Investigation on the issue is ongoing also on the part of National Grid.
12.05.2020: Power Grid is "stable and robust", assure researchers (US)
Researchers from the University of Tennessee have reassured that the US power grid is resilient enough to fend off cyberattacks and that widespread blackouts are not to be expected. A monitoring system deploying hundreds of Frequency Disturbance Recorders (FDRs) send data remotely through GPS, helping to detect disruptions on the power supply.
07.05.2020: Coal-free generation for 27 days, and counting (UK)
The UK keeps breaking records for carbon-free electricity generation - so far 27 days have passed without coal in the electricity mix. This makes it "the longest uninterrupted period since 1882" already since a week ago.
06.05.2020: Sizewell nuclear power plant with half output to support balancing the grid (UK)
The British branch of EDF which operates the nuclear fleet in the UK has been requested by the National Grid to operate ist Sizewell power plant at half capacity. This is to balance the grid during the extraordinary period of low demand due to COVID19. Costs are associated with this request but could also help reduce curtailment payments to renewables.
05.05.2020: Constraints to expansion of renewables due to concerns over grid stability (Mexico)
Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energia (CENACE), the operator of the national electricity System, released a text with new conditions for variable renewable energy sources (PV and wind) to ensure the stability of the grid. This puts the role of renewables into question about its role to contribute to a reliable power supply.
See the report directly here (in Spanish): https://www.energiaadebate.com/file/1743/index.pdf
04.05.2020: Report analyses the impact of fiscal recovery packages on climate change progress (International)
The Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment has released a report provides results from surveys of 231 financial institutions on different recovery schemes and recognizes the main drivers for recovery packages to make a long-term impact on the fight agains climate change.
30.04.2020: IEA looks into the impact of COVID19 in its Global Energy Review 2020 (International)
The annual global review published by IEA looks into the performance of the energy sector in 2019 and quantifies its related CO2 emissions up to 2020. The pandemic puts the sector under great uncertainty and its taken into account to draw potential energy paths.
30.04.2020: Australian grid could support up to 75% renewables by 2025 (Australia)
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) presented an action plan to enable the Integration of renewables up to 75% by 2025 while maintaining energy security.
27.04.2020: Laying down of transmission lines as essential services (India)
The indian Ministry of Power (MOP) stresses the importance of continuing the expansion of the transmission network especially to support areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
24.04.2020: NERC releases an update of the Special Report: "Pandemic Preparedness and Operational Assessment" (US)
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) tackles potential reliability issues for the oncoming summer season, including supply chain interruptions, uncertain demand forecasts as well as unplanned outages.
Direct link to the report: https://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/bpsa/Alerts%20DL/NERC_Pandemic_Preparedness_and_Op_Assessment_Spring_2020.pdf
23.04.2020: Critical Infrastructure Operation Centers and Control Rooms Guide for Pandemic Response (US)
The US Agency for Cyberscurity and Infrastructure (CISA) released a guide document titled "Critical Infrastructure Operation Centers and Control Rooms Guide for Pandemic Response" to provide guidance on mitigation measures to the power sector.
20.04.2020: IEX Power Exchange contributes to a more flexible grid through 15 minute trading blocks (India)
The large dip in power demand throughout India urges the use of more flexibility for grid operation. The Power Exchange introduced 15-minute trading blocks to allow utilities to better dispatch generation with more granularity and closer to real time operation.
Read the position from IEX here: https://www.iexindia.com/Uploads/NewsUpdate/20_04_2020Press%20Note%20-%20Flexibility%20with%20IEX_April%2016-final.pdf
15.04.2020: National Grid shows in Summer Outlook report how the COVID19 crisis will impact grid operation in 2020 (UK)
National Grid releases their Summer Outlook report which presents three different scenarios for the power grid taking into account the ongoing lockdown in the UK and experiences faced by other electricity networks across Europe. This document aims to provide the industry with the best guidance possible, considering the current uncertainty.
14.04.2020: Request for the implementation of reliability standards to be delayed (North America)
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to delay the implementation of seven reliability standards that relate to cybersecurity, training, disturbance monitoring and reporting, generator relay loadability, and coordination of protection systems for performance during fault. More details on:
14.04.2020: National Grid creates a village for essential workers in grid operation (UK)
New Lockdown facilities have been tested by National Grid workers over easter on a voluntary basis. As stated by Sara Habib, National Grid’s head of workplace Services: “It’s been a great effort by the site team to get the sleep pods ready for the Easter weekend, which means we can keep teams separate and minimise the risk of people falling ill.”
13.04.2020: Duke Energy warns of PPA curtailments (US)
Duke Energy, a large Electric Company in the United States with over 58MW of base-load and peak generation has warned over possible curtailments to solar producers under Power Purchase Agreements.
10.04.2020: New York State Grid Operator data shows impact from COVID19 (US)
New York State grid operator NYISO has released data on the energy demand trend from the last few weeks showing a significant reduction due to the COVID19 lockdown.
Here is the direct link to the NYISO report: https://www.nyiso.com/documents/20142/11883362/NYISO_COVID.pdf/3660412f-c7a7-89a4-a2c5-0af3ff33d90c
08.04.2020: Red Eléctrica España organizes "Hackaton Rural COVID-19" (Spain)
The Spanish TSO Red Eléctrica España (REE) organized a "Hackaton Rural COVID-19" to foster innovative solutions to overcome the COVID crisis in rural Spain, which has been already impacted by drain of emigration and less economic support than urban areas:
07.04.2020: Curtailment due to Force Majeure from distribution companies deemed invalid (India)
Reports of distribution companies curtailing renewable energy without valid reasons has prompted the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to release a statement. MNRE reiterates the must-run status of renewable energies and stresses that the valid requirement for curtailing should be solely to maintain grid security.
07.04.2020: Resource guide for assessing and mitigating the Novel Coronavirus (US and Canada)
The Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) cordinates efforts to respond to threats to critical infrastructure and provides documents such as this resource guide, aimed to assist power industry leaders to guide informed localized decisions in response to COVID-19.
Find the updated (07.04.2020) report on: https://www.electricitysubsector.org/
06.04.2020: Power grid stands the test after 9-minute countrywide vigil (India)
Demand fluctuates up to 31GW during the 9-minute vigil in India, when the population swichted off lights and appliances. According to a spokesperson from the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) "The event was managed smoothly without untoward incident while power system parameters were maintained within limits".
Here you can find more details in a preliminary report from POSOCO: https://posoco.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Preliminary-Report-on-Pan-India-Light-Switch-Off-Event-on-5th-April-2020-2-5.pdf
06.04.2020: Operators in New York go into self-isolation (US)
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) has proceeded to implement its Pandemic Response plan which includes the Sequestration of operators on a voluntary Basis.
“Everybody here knows the importance of what we do and the vital part that we play to make sure everyone can have power.” said Jon Sawyer, manager of Control Room Operations.
03.04.2020: Updates about nuclear outage plans during COVID19 (US)
Exelon Generation provides information to communities regarding the safety measures during the planned refueliing outage of the Limerick Gerating Station Unit 1.
02.04.2020: Wind curtailment on the basis of Force Majeure despite essential service status (South Africa)
The South African Wind Energy Association is seeking a closer cooperation with Eskom, South Africa´s public electrical supplier, to consider the status of IPPs as essential service and plan curtailments in a way that do not prejudice power producers.
02.04.2020: California is curtailing renewables at record levels (US)
Californian grid operator CAISO is being forced to curtail renewables, especially solar, as production rises and overall demand falls. Supply from renewables is being reduced through different types of curtailment: "economic", redispatching and "exceptional dispatch" orders.
02.04.2020: Energy Networks provides a relief package for energy customers (Australia)
An electricity and gas network relief package was announced by the australian gas and electricity organisation, Energy Networks. This package is aimed at small businesses and residential customers.“Networks understand these are extraordinarily tough times for small business and energy bill relief will really help,” mentioned, Andrew Dillon, Energy Networks Australia CEO.
31.03.2020: Power industry response to COVID-19 aided by lessons from grid security drills (US)
The biennial event GridEx V led by NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corp) functions as a regular stress test for the bulk power system as industry and government agencies work together to thwart simulated attacks to the grid and then self-assess their emergency response and recovery plans. According to Manny Cancel, NERC senior vice president, "Some of the lessons that we've learned from GridEx and procedures that we've practiced have prepared us for dealing with COVID-19, specifically the business continuity procedures that many of our entities have in place."
31.03.2020: Ministry of Power delays electricity tariff hike (Nigeria)
The Ministry of Power decided to suspend a hike in electricity tariffs to alliviate the economic suffering of the population during the COVID19 crisis. The increased electricity prices were planned to support the power sector in Nigeria, which is struggling to expand the grids to provide reliable electricity for its 200 million strong population.
27.03.2020: Expansion of renewables deemed essential in some countries (International)
California and India are some of the regions taking the lead to ensure the continuation of installations of renewable energy plants by considering them as essential infrastructure.
Renewables organizations in other countries, like Spain and Australia, are pushing for this move to avoid a great slow-down in the Integration of renewables and to achieve renewables goals.
Spain (site in Spanish): https://unef.es/2020/03/el-sector-fotovoltaico-apuesta-por-la-seguridad-a-la-vez-que-garantiza-el-suministro-energetico/
20.03.2020: Enel says digital drive has given it hedge on coronavirus threat (Italy)
"Italy’s biggest utility, Enel, does not expect the coronavirus epidemic to have any major impact on its results and says its drive to digitalise operations has given it an advantage."
19.03.2020: EPRI analyses the impact on the load in Italy
EPRI has published an analysis of the impact of the crisis on network operations in Italy also offering recommendations of best practices in Europe and the USA.
Non-members can access the presentation by entering their personal details: https://www.epri.com/#/pages/product/000000003002018602/?lang=en-US
11.03.2020: Spanish transmission system operator REE strengthens control centres (Spain)
The Spanish TSO REE has reinforced ist control centres to ensure the continuity and security of electricity supply.
(Site in Spanish)
04.03.2020: Trickbot campaign targets Coronavirus fears (Italy)
"The operators of a Trickbot spam campaign have found a new way to spread their digital infection: by using fears of a biological one. Spam targeting Italian e-mail addresses is playing on fears over the Coronavirus outbreak in that country."
02.02.2020: Electric Companies & Pandemic Planning - What You Should Know (US)
"Electric companies have a strong track record of preparing for many kinds of emergencies that could impact their ability to generate and/or deliver electricity to their customers and the communities they serve. This business continuity planning includes preparing for events such as storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters; cyber and physical attacks; and “high absenteeism” events that typically involve health emergencies and that could severely limit the number of employees who are able to report to work.
The electric power industry coordinates its efforts to plan for, prepare, and respond to all hazards that could potentially impact the energy grid—including a pandemic—with our partners at the highest levels of government through the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC).
Planning for a health emergency, such as a pandemic, is unique from other business continuity planning because it requires businesses to prepare to operate with a significantly smaller workforce, a threatened supply chain, and limited support services for an extended period of time at an unknown date in the future. The business continuity and pandemic plans developed by electric companies are designed to protect the people working for them and to ensure energy operations and infrastructure are supported properly. These measures help to guarantee that companies can continue to provide safe and reliable electricity throughout an emergency.
The following information is designed to present an overview of the pandemic planning efforts undertaken by the electric power industry, as well as federal, state, and local governments; provide an update on current pandemic threats; and offer additional resources where you can learn more about pandemic planning."
About Edison Electric Institute:
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for about 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries, as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
Organized in 1933, EEI provides public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums.