Pilot on Power Outage in Greek Municipalities
Overall Policy Objective:
Power outage management of public infrastructure and cultural assets of Greek municipalities via emergency response mechanisms.
Every European central government has policies in place for predicting, communicating and addressing emergency situations that require the immediate attention of both governments and citizens. Such actions are usually brought to light via emergency response mechanisms that 1) inform citizens, public authorities and businesses that will be affected by the crisis and 2) mobilize the relevant authorities to mitigate the projected damage. In the case of Greece, emergency response is managed centrally by the Greek government and enforced in a regional level by the various municipalities of the country. However, the municipalities often lack the technical infrastructure and communication mechanisms that can help them more efficiently deal with emergency situations. One challenge that is proving difficult to manage is the case of power outages. Power outages, while common in some areas, need to be managed properly as they can affect not only citizens but also public infrastructure buildings (such as hospitals, police stations, fire departments etc.), for which loss of power can lead to disastrous results, especially for extended periods of time. Additionally, power outages can affect cultural assets of specific regions (monasteries, museums etc.) that contribute to the economic sustainability and growth of their area. While these buildings are equipped with emergency generators for these cases, such measures need to be catered to the specific needs of each building and the severity of the public services that it provides. As such, it stands to reason that public administrations should have the knowledge, tools and capacity to shape evidence-based policies in regards to power outage management and emergency response that not only help them to better handle emergency situations but are tailored to the specific challenges of their regions (e.g. natural phenomena that can lead to power outages such as strong winds in mountainous areas and islands).
SCN is an non-profit organisation that offers technical assistance and support to Greek municipalities. The network of the organisation is comprised of 61 municipalities all over Greece. At the moment, Sustainable-city, via its platform Databuild, collects and processes energy-related data from various public infrastructure buildings to shape more energy efficient policies. Under the context of this pilot, the purpose is to take advantage of the knowledge generated through Databuild (overall energy consumption, backup power capacity etc.), combine it with data from other repositories (weather data, geological data etc.) and analyse them to enforce evidencebased policies regarding power outage emergency response. As such, its purpose is to take advantage of existing data, tools, frameworks and methodologies to 1) develop a comprehensive roadmap that provides to local municipalities a holistic solution that can help them develop emergency response mechanisms for power outages in their regions and 2) identify the parameters that lead to power outages and develop evidence-based predictive measures. Below is a list of the main data sources currently identified which can support the evidence informed policy making for this pilot case:
- Data relating to the geographical location of public infrastructure facilities as well as their energy consumption from the Databuild platform
- Data and services made available by the Disaster Mitigation Competence Centre Plus (DMCC+), Centre
- Climate Data from Copernicus, part of EOSC.
- Data collections from B2FIND and research data from Zenodo that can help municipalities develop more informed policies on emergency response based on already implemented practices.
Co-creation and engagement:
Co-creation activities will mainly involve residents of the affected areas who will be able to actively participate in the emergency response strategies that will be developed by describing how the power outage is affecting their area and the severity of the situation. As such, the public authorities will be able to modify their strategy based on feedback received from citizens. Additionally, this pilot will engage fire departments of each region and other civil protection authorities who will be mobilised in emergency situations to help citizens and businesses. Finally, local NGOs can raise awareness and provide guidelines to citizens and businesses to help the local communities better handle power outages.