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Perspectives on the vulnerability of the Swedish electricity distribution system: Extreme weather conditions and climate change
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies.
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study deals with the perspective of vulnerability of the Swedish electricity distribution system to climate and weather related risks. How and to what extent the electricity sector is adapting to the risk and what possibilities are formed in this respect are investigated. This is a quantitative and qualitative analysis where statistical data has been used to apprehend the extent of disturbances of the electricity distribution system and their causes. Interviews have been used in order to investigate different views among actors working within the electricity distribution system sector.

The result shows that the dominating cause of disturbances in the electrical network in Sweden is the weather, giving most hours of breaks. The countryside has more often disturbances than urban areas. It also emerges that it is the lines overhead that are most affected by disturbances. The system is flexible. If one line is disturbed the electricity can be distributed using another line (redundancy). It seems like there is a diversion between the respondents on how and if a future climate change really is a risk for the electricity distribution system. It is clear that the vulnerability has increased in the society during the past 10-20 years, and so has the societal costs of the disturbances because of the increasing dependence on electricity. Reducing the consequences of a weather related impact on the electrical system will make society more resilient and less vulnerable. The respondents in this study are somewhat adapting to the weather related risks that they have identified with technical solutions. It is important to learn more about how the electrical system properties influence the sensitivity in society. There is a need to investigate the dependency of electricity in society. It is also important that all the actors have the same interpretation of the difference between a recurrent event and a nature disaster. More work should be done to clarify where the responsibility for adapting the electrical sector to the possible climate change lies. This complex responsibility issue with all affected actors influences the sensitivity of society and the electrical system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för tematisk utbildning och forskning , 2005. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
Electricity distribution system, climate change, extreme weather conditions, Disturbance, risk, vulnerability, adaptation
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-3455ISRN: LIU-ITUF/MV-D--05/12--SEOAI: diva2:20389
Available from: 2005-09-02 Created: 2005-09-02

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