Electricity infrastructures are critical lifeline systems that are designed to serve with a high degree of reliable power supply to consumers under normal operating conditions and also in case of common failures or when expected disturbances occur. However, many recent weather-induced disasters have brought unprecedented challenges to the electricity networks, underlining that power systems remain unprepared to absorb the disruptive large-scale and severe events. Worse still, it is expected that such climate hazards will take place at rising frequency and intensity rates due to climate change. The intensification of meteorological extremes will lead to higher losses and changes in transmission capacity increasing the frequency and importance of material damage to the aging electric infrastructure, thus resulting in significant disruptions, cascading failures, and unpredictable power outages. This paper presents real-life examples of different types of extreme weather incidents and their impacts on the distribution network in Greece, a country that is highly vulnerable because of its location, geomorphology, and the existing overhead assets, highlighting lessons learned related to adaptation options and disaster management best practices. Literature review and benchmarking with other grid operators are also employed to explore resilience-enhancing technical capabilities, weatherproof solutions, and operational strategies on which policy-making initiatives should focus.
Extreme weather case studies in Greece are analyzed to capture lessons learned.
Passive post-incident adjustment is insufficient and leads to costly repairs.
Power utilities should proactively embrace and embed grid resilience strategies.
System flexibility, network hardening, and quick recovery are key focus areas.
Best practices can be used by policy-makers to implement the bespoke adaptations.