Severe Weather Poses Threat to Archaic US Power Grid…(Thats It! “We’ll Blame The Weather”!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Kristen Rodman
September 10, 2013

Heat waves, blizzards, hurricanes and other severe weather events have already shown the numerous vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid system by inducing blackouts and massive power outages throughout the country. As the system grows older and severe weather seemingly occurs more often, concerns regarding the system’s flaws are mounting.

As the leading cause of power outages in the U.S., severe weather has caused more than 675 power outages between 2003 and 2012, costing the U.S. approximately $18 billion to $33 billion per year, according to a report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

The construction of the current grid began in the late 1880s and while portions of the grid have been updated and changed over time, more than 70 percent of the grid’s transmission lines and transformers are at least 25 years old, according to the report.

Understanding the U.S. Power Grid

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