Hazards and vulnerability of modern societies - using the example of a large-scale outage ot the electricity supply

  • Type of event:

    Public expert discussion

  • Venue:

    Deutscher Bundestag Platz der Republik, 11011 Berlin
    Paul-Löbe-Haus, Sitzungssaal E 300

  • Date:


  • Time:


In recent years, power failures in Europe and North America have given a lasting impression of the vulnerability of modern societies. Although the interruption of the power supply lasted at most a week and occurred locally, massive functional and supply disruptions, threats to public order and damage amounting to billions of euros became apparent. In the event of a widespread and prolonged power blackout, these effects would be expected to multiply, with dramatic consequences.

In view of the catastrophic potential of such a power blackout, the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) was commissioned to conduct a systematic impact analysis. The aim was to investigate how a prolonged and widespread power blackout could affect society and its critical infrastructures, and how prepared Germany is for such a large-scale disaster.

TAB's impact analyses have shown that after just a few days in the affected area, it is no longer possible to ensure that the population is supplied with (essential) goods and services in line with demand. The TAB report provides indications of the efforts required to increase the sustainability of critical infrastructures and to further optimise the capacities of the national disaster management system. Sensitivity to this issue should also be increased in the economy and among the population.

In a joint public event of the Interior and Research Committees, the results of the TAB project "Endangerment and vulnerability of modern societies - using the example of a large-scale power supply failure" were presented and discussed with experts and the interested public.

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