at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
The electric grid: Extreme power risks
|Extreme weather is putting America’s power grid to the test, with a yearlong run of violent storms and record heat battering a system built for fairer skies.|
As the eastern United States struggles to recover from yet another weather shock, energy officials are acknowledging climate change as a force that finally has to be reckoned with – even as concern grows over other threats that can set off catastrophic blackouts.
Winter storms, chains of heat waves and late June’s “super derecho” — a thunderstorm with straight-line winds that snapped electrical transmission towers and shredded power poles — have forced the climate change issue and electric supply vulnerability to the top of an already-daunting list of blackout triggers. Those threats range from computer-hacking cyberterrorists to solar flares, utility mistakes and plain bad luck.
Regulators in the U.S. hope to avoid the kind of cascading grid failure that hit India in late July, leaving some 600 million — almost 10 percent of the world’s population — without power. Miners were trapped underground. Trains shut down. Unimaginable traffic snarls popped up across the country. And India’s image as a rising economic power was cast in darkness.
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 7:06 AM - permanent link
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