Reliable electricity supply

Germany’s electricity supply is particularly reliable, as a comparison with its European neighbours clearly shows. In 2016, German final electricity users experienced an average of no more than twelve minutes and eight seconds of interruption to their electricity supply. This puts Germany among the very best in Europe.

Germany has a very short average interruption to electricity supply per final user in 2016 in comparison to other countries like Italy, French or the UK - only 12 minutes.© BMWi; data from: CEER Benchmarking Report, July 2018

Italian users of electricity had to cope with an average of 37.11 minutes of power outage in 2016. UK users had to rely on torches for 38.39 minutes; French customers for 48.70 minutes. Spain (53.58 minutes) and Sweden (69.10 minutes) both had longer power outages than Germany. Average power outages per final electricity consumer lasted 24 minutes in Austria and only 9 minutes in Switzerland. This data is taken from the latest report published by the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) on electricity and gas security of supply, which was published in July 2018. All figures are based on data for 2016.

Bundesnetzagentur keeps records of power outages

Once a year, operators of energy-supply networks have to present a report to the Bundesnetzagentur detailing each and every disruption to the power supply that lasted longer than three minutes. The time, duration, extent and cause of these disruptions are all logged and listed in the report. For 2017, 862 network operators reported a combined total of 166,560 disruptions to the electricity supply. According to this data, the combined duration of power outages per final consumer in Germany rose to 15.14 minutes in 2017.

"Despite the fact that this represents an increase, the quality of Germany’s electricity system remains at a very high level", explains Peter Franke, Vice-President of Bundesnetzagentur, citing weather events as the reason behind the greater disruption to the mid and low-voltage grids. "The energy transition and the growing share of distributed energy generated are not having a negative effect on the quality of the electricity supply", said Mr Franke.