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Electrical system resilience: a forensic analysis of the blackout in Lancaster, UK

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Forensic Engineering
Issue number2
Volume170
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)100-109
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Great Britain’s electricity network is undergoing a major transformation as it moves from a system based on burning fossil fuels in central power stations to one dominated by distributed renewable energy; this brings with it a new set of risks. In parallel, the move to electronic documentation and communication is increasing the dependence of society on an ‘always-on’ electricity supply. Assessing the level of dependence is difficult, as full-scale experimentation is not practicable and a desktop analysis of situations involving a large number of human interactions is unlikely to be representative. In December 2015, Storm Desmond resulted in a blackout affecting more than 100 000 people in Lancaster, UK. This provided a unique case study that allowed researchers to investigate how society responds to a widespread loss of the electricity supply.