How bad would the economy and industry be affected if once a week at a random day, all grid power was turned off involuntarily?

This is a good question because the scenario is likely while governments fail to make meaningful renewable transition plans. The response so far from industry has been to forge ahead anyway but the lack of government support has put off potentially billions of dollars in investment.

Load shedding as it is called, might be a bit more predictable. There are about 10 days of the year when demand peaks and puts the network under stress. It is likely that on a hot, still night (when renewables largely cannot help us), that people will find themselves sweltering in the dark. This scenario actually has serious implications for health because even healthy people can die if it is over 35 degrees and 90% humidity. The response from industry and the economy would be to open shopping malls 24/7!

Your question is about completely random load shedding. Depending on how long the power went off each time, if it were 20 minutes everyone who needed highly reliable power would run out and buy a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This in fact would be great because it would mean that the entire electricity system could be relaxed from 99.999% reliability down to 98% reliability (with some caveats about contiguous failures).

If the networks went down for a day a week at random, this would be a big deal and might cause civil unrest and economic collapse. The government would step in and nationalise electricity assets affected by this because (presumably) the owners couldn't keep the power running. Then, depending on why this is happening, the government would attempt a (likely knee jerk) reaction to patch up supply. It would hire thousands of gas turbine generators. This would impact the gas supply, which is already low in Australia. In this case the cost of electricity would go through the roof.

Industry would leave the area. They are the first to complain about electricity (especially Retail) but also much manufacturing works to strict timelines and coordination and interruptions take them offline way longer than the interruption itself. Some equipment is damaged by being powered down without preparation (such as aluminium smelters) and other equipment needs to be pulled to bits and put back together before it can run again (sheet works, plasterboard works etc).

Keeping hospitals, airports and other critical services running for a whole day without electricity would require a reliable diesel delivery network to be in place to top up generator supplies. I'm not sure cities are set up to deliver this much diesel. Without electricity, pumps at petrol stations would stop. This would affect road traffic. I think there are limits as to how long supermarket refrigeration can be down before all the stored food has to be discarded. Some supermarkets can totally restock in only 24 hours, but I am not sure if this scales beyond replacing a few supermarkets' contents.

So, lots of bad stuff. We really need electricity. But as above, I actually think our over-reliance on it can be tempered and that small amount of battery storage (so 2KWh not 15KWh) would make us a lot more resilient. Consider that the Internet is not 99.998% reliable, but you get your netflicks show smoothly delivered. This is because your local computer or TV can cache up data during the show to cover little drop-outs in internet speed. The electricity network could be so much cheaper and more simple if it could deliver 98% reliable power and we store a bit of it at the end of the wire.


Its a total crash !

We have that more and more in Venezuela. More and more electrical infrastructure breaks and power outage is becoming more of a critial point to have normal life.

Without power to the island, NO HANDY works because they have not managed that each cell antenna and related infrastructure has a larger backup in form of diesel gen sets to overcome power outage.

They have not managed that the internet works during power outage !

TV comes via 2 or 3 satellites. So if your house hold has a gen set your fine and can be informed from the goverment channels. But if you do not have a gen set, important information will not make it to you, and you do not even know why you have a power outage.

Security fences only work for the time battery backup is present.

There are hospitals at the Isla Margarita without any diesel gen sets. What that means if power drops during an operation on a patient can every one imagin. What that means for real sick patients can everyone think of.

As you do not carry cash, you are obliged to pay via your debit cards. but as this card readers all depend on internet or wire less cell phone technique and as said this two are not working, the economy stops during the power outage as nobody can pay.

Normal shops do not have a gen set to secure work during power outage. Even if they have a gen set,if the larger infrastructure for cell phones and internet is not working seamlessly, they can stopo work as we depend too much on Internet and Cell Phones.

bank doors where drivenby electricty do not open, so people often can not leave for lunch or back enter to work.

Computers have UPS and gen sets are delivering power to each Desk. but you wont beleave me how often small tiny satellite roomes with routers and hubs are off power when power drops. And when power comes back they do not start properly. So desk stations are unable to connect to the computers at the computer rooms. And that was not a case in Venezuela but Swiss 3 years ago.

The idea to simultae once a month a power outage in a bank is a greate idea and it will only show how much all type of our doings depend on continous power.


Very bad - that is why most countries have grid systems, islanding set ups, emergency / peak power stations and all the systems that are required to prevent outages !

Offhand, imagine what will happen in a continuous process industry - clothing, dairies, fertilizers, chemicals, when the power blinks. Generally, these industries will have emergency back up generators for their critical equipment, which will be used to stop the process, at a point where re-start is quickly possible.

The article, about a black out in Italy, will perhaps have the magnitude of the losses involved, in such a situation.

Have a better day !

Assessing the socio-economic effects of power outages ad hoc


Many developing countries have regular "brown-outs" and "black-outs" just like this. It generally does their countries no good at all. It adds to the costs of setting up businesses that require constant electricity - they have to pay extra money for generators, diesel, etc. that normally they wouldn't have to in other countries. Accumulate enough "little problems" like this and it starts to affect your economic and ability to attract investment.

This is the major reason why India has never developed a robust industrial or high tech industry! It's also problematic in places like the Philippines and largely what it's never become a Taiwan or Singapore.


How Bad?

Drastically and Negatively. I'm wondering what your ‘hypothetical" goal is.

Outside of the incredible number of industries that can not tolerate power outages AT ALL (think of all medical care centers and, if you didn't know it... every semiconductor fabrication plant... and trains, airports, and... and....)

WhyTF would anyone suggest such a disastrous thing, anyway? Please respond!


How bad would the economy and industry be affected if once a week at a random day, all grid power was turned off involuntarily?

For the first year it would be pretty bad - but by the end of that year 99% of companies would have arranged some type of power storage or generation facility to cover that gap


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