A near power grid outbreak on January 8, 2021 cut Europe’s power grid into a south-eastern and a north-western part for about an hour was described as one of the most critical near-blackout situations since the region’s last major blackout in 2006.
A day after, on January 9, 2021, Pakistan and most of its 210 millions inhabitants were plunged into darkness during several hours. This was Pakistan’s second major power breakdown since May 2018, when the country remained without electricity for more than nine hours.
Europe close to power grid blackout
A disturbance in the synchronised European high-voltage power grid on Friday, 8 January 2021, resulted in a separation of European grid regions.
The incident, described as one of the most critical near-blackout situations since the region’s last major blackout in 2006, happened after a sudden drop in frequency of around 0.25 Hertz (Hz) in south-eastern Europe.
Extremer Absacker in der #Netzfrequenz. 😳— netzfrequenz.info (@netz_frequenz) January 8, 2021
In dieser Höhe und zu diesem Zeitpunkt ziemlich ungewöhnlich. Eins meiner Messgeräte zeigt sogar 49,74Hz als Minimum an. Ist irgendwo ein großes #Kraftwerk ausgefallen? pic.twitter.com/xa8cCN0zjt
As a result, the synchronised European grid was split into a south-eastern and a north-western part for about an hour and grid operators had to initiate contracted load shedding in Italy and France to keep the grid stable.
In some regions, sensitive machinery automatically stopped working.
Although the actual cause of the near collapse remains unclear, officials blame France that is unable to cope with the current cold weather.
Britain also seemed to have problems generating enough electricity for the current winter demand.
German press reports about cold temperature and of not enough nuclear power online (44 of 56 reactors are online, next week only 43) in France because of maintenance backlogs due to Corona.
Pakistan plunged into darkness
A day after Europe, on January 9, 2021, a power outage struck almost all of Pakistan, leaving around 200 million people without electrical supply.
The blackout was due to a frequency drop resulted from a “fault” at Guddu, in southern Pakistan, at 11:41 p.m. local time on Saturday (6:41 p.m. GMT), which tripped the system and caused power plants to shut down.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Confirmed: <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pakistan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Pakistan</a> internet connectivity collapses amid widespread power outage with nation-scale impact; real-time network data show connectivity at 62% of ordinary levels as users struggle to get online; incident ongoing 🕯📉 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackoutPakistan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BlackoutPakistan</a><br><br>📰 <a href=”https://t.co/9UFc6mpfTj”>https://t.co/9UFc6mpfTj</a> <a href=”https://t.co/beKBqO8Yob”>pic.twitter.com/beKBqO8Yob</a></p>— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) <a href=”https://twitter.com/netblocks/status/1348010783100317704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 9, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
The blackout lasted about 18 hours.
According to officials, the record-breaking grid collapse had been caused by “an engineering fault,” although experts are now trying to determine the precise details of what happened as well as the exact location of the fault.
Meanwhile, on January 10, 2021, outages related to heavy snowfall were experienced across eastern Texas, which left over 100k customers without electrical power.
Yes, in Pakistan and Europe, the official causes (weather and human fault) of the catastrophic blackouts seem suspicious to me. Is there something more we don’t know?