Did you know that power outages can cost countries significant financial loss? These happen for different reasons, including human errors and natural disasters. While the latest technology has allowed power companies to invest in modern power grids, not all countries have access to these, and they are more likely to suffer more losses due to power outages.
According to The World Bank, the top countries with the most value lost due to power outages from 2018-2020 are the following:
|Country||Year||Percentage of value lost|
|West Bank and Gaza||2019||7.6%|
There are many possible causes why power outages happen, mostly external and beyond the control of the power system and provider. There are also instances wherein power providers have no choice but to cut power for a certain period, especially when there's not enough capacity to meet the demand or when they have to do maintenance work.
More often than not, power outages are not caused by just one event but a combination of several reasons. In fact, there's almost no outage known where a faultless grid collapsed due to a single cause.
Here is the basis for a high power outage risk:
Below are some events that will most likely cause a power outage in combination with the preconditions mentioned above:
Last August, a power cut affected more than 30,000 homes after having their lines cut off, which lasted for two hours without warning. After an investigation, former minister Pete Hodgson and technical advisor Erik Westergaard found out that the power cuts did not have to happen because there wasn't a shortage in electricity to start with.
It was found that Transpower did not have complete visibility of the power savings made. Energy Minister Megan Woods said that she had requested the Electric Authority and chairs of Transpower to consider the report's recommendations and give her an update on the progress for each quarter, to avoid it from happening again.
Even for a short time, power outages can cause major disruptions in our work and life. Here are the common types of power outages:
A brownout occurs when there's a drop in electrical voltage or electrical power supply. You will know that it's a brownout when your lights dim and your electronic appliances give poor performance.
A complete loss of power in an area means a blackout has occurred. It's the most common type of power outage, and it's usually caused by a fault in the power grid. The outage may last from minutes to months and may take technicians some time to fix, depending on how bad the damage is.
A fault in the power line may cause a sudden power loss and require a technician to fix the power line for the lights to be restored. Compared to other power outages, a permanent fault is easier to fix and does not affect larger areas.
Whether you live in major cities like Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Whangarei or rural areas in New Zealand, you can contact your energy companies if you're experiencing a power outage in your area. This will also help them identify the affected areas quickly.
Your local line service is responsible for repairs in your area, so it's best if you report the outage by looking up your local company (Vector, Unison, and Powerco, etc.). If you're not getting any response, it's most likely that they're getting a lot of calls.
Some power outages are planned so that companies can do their maintenance to their network. To prepare, you can go to your power company's website to check if they have any scheduled maintenance work.
If you or someone from your household relies on power for medical reasons, notify your local emergency services.
The Electric Authority makes sure to respond quickly whenever there are any power outages. Additionally, NZ companies are also launching projects such as solar farms to improve their electricity resources and meet electricity demands, which could help prevent power outages.
Loss of power can cause major inconveniences in our lives, so it's only essential to make sure you're in the right provider and plan.
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