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Quantifying the Economic Value of Space Weather Forecastingfor Power Grids: An Exploratory Study

Eastwood, JP; Hapgood, MA; Biffis, E; Benedetti, D; Bisi, MM; Green, L; Bentley, RD; (2018) Quantifying the Economic Value of Space Weather Forecastingfor Power Grids: An Exploratory Study. Space Weather , 16 (12) pp. 2052-2067. 10.1029/2018SW002003. Green open access

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Abstract

An accurate understanding of space weather socioeconomic impact is fundamental to the development of appropriate operational services, forecasting capabilities, and mitigation strategies. One way to approach this problem is by developing physics‐based models and frameworks that can lead to a bottom‐up estimate of risk and likely impact. Here we describe the development of a new framework to assess the economic impact of space weather on power distribution networks and the supply of electricity. In particular, we focus on the phenomenon of the geomagnetic substorm, which is relatively localized in time and space, and occurs multiple times with varying severity during a geomagnetic storm. The framework uses the AE index to characterize substorm severity, and the impact of the substorm is modulated by the resilience of the power grid and the nature of available forecast. Possible scenarios for substorm sequences during a 1‐in‐10‐, a 1‐in‐30‐, and a 1‐in‐100‐year geomagnetic storm events are generated based on the 2003, 1989, and 1859 geomagnetic storms. Economic impact, including international spill over, can then be calculated using standard techniques, based on the duration and the geographical footprint of the power outage. Illustrative calculations are made for the European sector, for a variety of forecast and resilience scenarios. However, currently available data are highly regionally inhomogeneous, frustrating attempts to define an overall global economic impact at the present time.

Type: Article
Title: Quantifying the Economic Value of Space Weather Forecastingfor Power Grids: An Exploratory Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2018SW002003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2018SW002003
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: space weather, geomagnetic storm, power grids, economic analysis, physics‐based modeling
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072638
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