Towards Understanding Recurring Large Scale Power Outages: An Endogenous View of Inter-organizational Effects

  • Finn Olav Sveen
  • Josune Hernantes
  • Jose J. Gonzalez
  • Eliot Rich
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6712)


In the last decade there has been a series of severe large scale power outages around the world. Deregulation and increasing interconnection among grids have left a complex topographical landscape of organizations and technology that spans traditional borders. Two examples are the 2003 outages in Italy and North America. Both these cases left more than fifty million people without power. As part of the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection our team is considering how this integrated context affects the vulnerability of the power system. System dynamics modellers elicit fragmented domain expert knowledge using a group model building methodology. We present a qualitative version of the simulation model and discuss how the prevalence of long time delays, dynamic complexity and a tendency to view hazardous conditions as normal all contribute to long term crisis proneness. We argue that some common beliefs about crisis conditions actually are fallacies that must be overcome to avoid recurrent crises in the power generation and distribution sector.


Critical Infrastructure Power System Crisis Management System Dynamics Group Model Building 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Finn Olav Sveen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josune Hernantes
    • 3
  • Jose J. Gonzalez
    • 2
    • 4
  • Eliot Rich
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Prospectives Ltd NufDrammenNorway
  2. 2.NISlabGjøvik University CollegeGjøvikNorway
  3. 3.Tecnun (University of Navarra)San SebastiánSpain
  4. 4.Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of ICT, Security and Quality in OrganizationsUniversity of AgderGRIMSTADNorway
  5. 5.School of Business, Department of Information Technology ManagementUniversity at AlbanyUSA

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