Fear of a possible global blackout is growing: Can it happen in Spain?

First of all What is the global blackout? It is, as its name suggests, a massive power outage that can affect a large part of the planet, of long duration and that could occur for various reasons, from human errors to a meteorological phenomenon or an overload in the electrical network.

Recently the Austrian Minister, Klaudia Tanner, explained that the question was not “whether or not there will be a blackout, the question is when”, Ensuring that the probabilities of this great blackout happening are 100% and it will happen sometime in the next five years.

The consequences of experiencing a power outage can be even worse than the global pandemic, since today, virtually everything we use requires a network connection. And what does not require immediate connection like the mobile phone, at some point could run out of battery.

The question is, can this great blackout affect Spain?

Spain’s energy production capacity

Looking at the 2020 data, Spain’s installed energy production capacity was 110.287 MW and the demand for a normal day ranges between 20,000 MW and 30,000 MW.

During 2021, the days that more electricity has been demanded have coincided with the two most serious days during the Filomena storm. During January 7, 2021, energy demand amounted to 41.322 MW and, the next day, it was surpassed, registering a maximum of 42.053 MW according to data from the Spanish Electricity Network.

Where does the energy we consume come from

In Spain the largest source of energy is natural gas, of which the 45.5% of the energy produced comes from this source. In contrast, 17.34% of the energy we produce is nuclear.

If in Spain nuclear energy could not be used as is being said, in our country it will be possible to continue producing electricity thanks to natural gas and renewables, which produce 36%. Therefore, adding these energy sources, there would be enough electricity to supply the country.

According to the data on its own production capacity and where the energy consumed comes from, in Spain there would be no problem in dispensing with nuclear energy in the event that it failed due to the blackout, in addition to having already consolidated the supply of natural gas from Algeria.

Blackout Spain

Algerian natural gas

In Spain, the diplomatic conflict between Algeria and Morocco is affecting gas supplies. Algeria has closed gas pipeline that runs through Morocco, through which they arrive about 6,000 million cubic meters of gas.

The situation has forced the Government to act and from now on the supply comes through the Mezgaz gas pipeline, that connects Algeria with Almería, and on the other hand through LNG ships, a more expensive option, since Liquefied Natural Gas would have to be gasified when it arrived in Spain.

To this day, and agree to the manager of Enagás, Spanish natural gas deposits are at 82% of their capacity and that, according to their calculations, it would cover the demand equivalent to 40 days.

Can the electric ones leave us without light?

Consumers of electrical energy they have the right to access and connection to electricity transmission and distribution networks in the Spanish territory.

This right is specifically included in the Law 24/2013, of December 26, on the Electricity Sector, and is subject to the conditions that have been established fundamentally in the Royal Decree 1183/2020, of December 29 and in the Real Decree 1048/2013, of December 27.

It is precisely this connection that allows them, as consumers, to be supplied, and in order to achieve it they must contact the network manager in the area where said physical connection occurs or will produce.

In the event of non-compliance by the marketers, the Law 24/2013, of December 26, establishes in its article 47 that in the event that a marketer fails to comply with any of the requirements for the exercise of its activity, the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda may declare the Termination of the authorization to act as a marketer.

Therefore, companies must make sure they have enough deposits to be able to supply the country in the event of a blackout that lasts for hours, otherwise they could disable them.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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