Resilience of Electricity Distribution Networks against Extreme Weather Conditions

Kim Forssén, Kari Mäki, Minna Räikkönen, Riitta Molarius

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Extreme weather forms a major threat to electricity distribution networks and has caused many severe power outages in the past. A reliable electrical grid is something most of us take for granted, but storms, heavy snowfall and other effects of extreme weather continue to cause disruptions in electricity supply. This paper contributes to ensuring the continuity of electricity supply under adverse weather events. The aim is to describe and to analyze how the continuity of electricity supply can be ensured in the case of extreme weather. Based on the research, the energy sector is highly dependent on the existing locations and structures of the current infrastructure. Aging infrastructure is commonly seen as a main vulnerability factor. The most vulnerable parts of the electricity distribution system to extreme weather conditions are the networks built as overhead lines. However, the resilience of the networks against extreme weather can be increased significantly in all phases of a disaster management cycle. Methods and technological solutions proposed in this paper to alleviate such problems include adjacent forest management and periodic aerial inspections, situational awareness, distributed generation and microgrids, placement of overhead lines, underground cabling and unmanned air vehicles. However, it must be noticed that the methods and their value for stakeholders are context-dependent. Thus, their applicability and appropriateness may change over time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberRISK-16-1133
    Number of pages9
    JournalASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part B: Mechanical Engineering
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • electricity distribution
    • risk
    • resilience
    • disasters
    • inspection
    • cycles
    • distributed power generation
    • power grids
    • microgrids
    • storms


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