Delivery reliability laws

Tuesday 7 February 2017

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The Electricity Act (Ellagen), the Electricity Preparedness Act (Elberedskapslagen) and the Rationing Act (Ransoneringslagen). These are some of the laws that affect electricity delivery reliability.

The conditions in the national grid are changing as more weather-dependent electricity production is included and nuclear power is being reduced. This may impact delivery reliability. A greater risk of power shortages is one example of this.

“Some changes probably need to be made to the regulations,” says lawyer Maria Hagberg. “But first our politicians need to decide on delivery reliability goals.”

Maria Hagberg was assigned by IVA’s project “Electricity Crossroads” to identify and document the provisions in the laws that regulate delivery reliability. This included describing the responsibility of the authorities in this area. The Electricity Act is the most important one:

“The Act states that ‘electricity transmission is to be of good quality’,” says Maria. “And that power outages are not to last more than 24 hours.”

Regulations on power outage compensation came as late as 2006 following Hurricane Gudrun and the significant problems caused by prolonged power cuts. It also resulted in concrete changes such as grid owners starting an extensive process of burying cables underground.

What is the situation with regards to responsibility for delivery reliability?

“The grid perspective is clear,” says Maria. “The grid owners are the main focus of this responsibility.”

The Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate is responsible for ensuring that the rules regarding grids in the Electricity Act are complied with.

In terms of the short-term balance in the system, Svenska kraftnät (Sweden’s national grid) is responsible. Through contracts with the players responsible for maintaining the balance, i.e. the electricity suppliers, Svenska kraftnät ensures that energy is bought and sold in a way that maintains the balance in the system. Svenska kraftnät also has a power reserve and disruption reserve, which include gas turbines that can be up and running at short notice.

Other authorities that work with delivery reliability in various ways are the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).

IVA will present a new report on delivery reliability in April.