Readiness of Small Energy Markets and Electric Power Grids to Global Health Crises: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

David Carmon, Aviad Navon, Ram MacHlev, Juri Belikov, Yoash Levron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as Coronavirus pandemic, affected the operation of small electric grids, and what can this event teach us on the readiness of such grids in the face of future global health crises. We focus on three major effects: changing patterns of generation and consumption, frequency stability, and the joint impact of low consumption and high share of renewable energy sources. Specifically, we analyze changes in consumption in the Israeli, Estonian, and Finnish grids, and attempt to identify patterns of consumption changes that may be explained by the pandemic. We also analyze changes in voltage and frequency, and show that the low consumption caused significant deviations from the nominal values of both parameters. One main conclusion is that the reduced energy consumption during the pandemic is critical, and has a major effect on the operation of small electric grids. Another conclusion is that since the pandemic pushed the relative share of renewable energy to record highs, this event may help us to better understand the influence of a high share of renewables on small grids, thus offering a glance into a renewable-rich future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9139437
Pages (from-to)127234-127243
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus
  • energy policy
  • health crisis
  • power system stability
  • power systems flexibility
  • renewable energy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science


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