Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Climate Change Is Threatening the Power Grid

So says the White House, in a new report that recommends strengthening the grid. 


Senior administration officials said Monday that power lines have become increasingly vulnerable to storm damage.

Just days away from the 10-year anniversary of the worst power outage in U.S. history, the White House and the Energy Department released a report on Monday evaluating the resiliency of the nation's electric grid and recommending steps to prevent future blackouts.

The report called storms and severe weather "the leading cause of power outages in the United States," and warned against the steep cost of weather-related damage to the electric grid. It put the price tag for electrical failures caused by inclement weather at between $18 billion and $33 billion annually, and noted that costs have increased in recent years, jumping from a range of $14 billion to $26 billion in 2003 to $27 billion to $52 billion in 2012. Storms exceeding a billion dollars in damages (electrical and otherwise) have also become more frequent in the past decade, as the chart below shows.

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