Most modern organizations are fortunate in having access to steady, reliable electricity supplies. From hospitals and universities to data centers and manufacturing plants, it’s hard for many of today’s public and private entities to survive without power. When it fails, the results can be devastating.
In the UK, for example, a 45-minute blackout in August 2019 affected a million electricity customers and caused three days of rail chaos. In January that year, the Australian Energy Market Operator had to cut over a quarter of a gigawatt of energy supplies to businesses on two separate occasions.
This year, meanwhile, a “catastrophic breakdown” of the Texas grid left more than 5 million people without power for up to three days. In some countries, such as South Africa, blackouts are almost a feature of daily life.
These outages seem to be getting more common, particularly in advanced economies. The blame is often laid at the door of the growing volume of intermittent renewable generation sources on the grid. These are rarely the real cause of the problem, however.