Global power outage leaves more than 640,000 subscribers without power for half an hour

A fault in Red Eléctrica's transmission grid has caused the blackout, which comes the week that the cost of electricity reached an all-time high

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An Endesa power station.

BarcelonaMore than 640,000 people were left without electricity for a few minutes this Saturday afternoon in a global power outage in Catalonia. Civil Protection explained that Endesa had notified them of a "global power failure". The incident was due to a problem in Red Eléctrica's transmission grid, after an incident in the south of France forced a disconnection from the network. According to Endesa, the protections "have acted correctly to avoid a total blackout" of the electricity system throughout Spain.

Although the situation was "completely normalised" shortly before 6 p.m., a large part of Catalonia was left without power for about half an hour. The outage affected areas of Barcelona - Sarrià, Sants and Nou Barris, for example - Lleida, many municipalities in the Vallès region and Girona, among other places. According to some users on social networks, in some places the downtime lasted only a few minutes. The service has gradually recovered: shortly after the first warning there were 146,000 subscribers without power, and a few minutes later there were 47,000.

It is the case that the fall has come just four days after the cost of electricity in Spain hit an all-time high. On Wednesday, the price of energy reached 106.57 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), according to data from the Iberian Electricity Market Operator (OMIE), the body that carries out auctions for Spain and Portugal. The rise represents an increase of 4.6% in just one day, from 101.82 euros, the second most expensive since records began.

Until now, the historical maximum had been recorded on 11 January 2020, with a price of 103.76 euros per MWh, i.e. 2.81 euros below what was paid on Wednesday. The new increase in price comes, moreover, after the Spanish government approved a new tariff system that increases the bill for a substantial part of families, and which it subsequently tried to alleviate with a reduction in VAT on the bill to 10%.