Hurricane Ida Sheds Light on Weakened Energy Infrastructure

Hurricane Ida Sheds Light on Weakened Energy Infrastructure

(ReliableNews.org) – When electricity became a standard convenience in the early 1900s, thousands of separate electric companies supplied energy to individual homes across the United States. But after the second world war, the companies decided to band together and create a power grid that connected resources for more reliable and cost-effective service.

Since the conglomeration in the 1940s, the climate around the country has changed and continues to do so. Because of that evolution, the original infrastructure of the grid is becoming less sufficient to handle the extreme weather of today. The good news is that technology has also evolved and is better able to adapt to environmental changes. The problem is that the government is typically slow, and mother nature waits for no one.

Mother Nature’s Reminder

Nothing highlighted the need for adaptation more than when an unexpected and rare snowfall hit parts of Texas in February, whose power grid is independent of the main system. And since its electrical network is built to handle the heat but not cold, millions of people were without warmth for many days, and about 700 Texans died.

In California, the power grid is also taking a hit from the combination of droughts, severe temperatures and wildfires.

Moving back to the south, Hurricane Ida’s ferocious might plunged over a million New Orleans citizens into darkness as the “catastrophic intensity” demolished all transmission power lines to the city. Considering Louisiana’s position on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, this hurricane will not be the last to hit the state, and it has to be ready.

What Experts Say

On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that pointed to human influence as a direct cause of the world’s increase in extreme weather events. But it also said the “code red for humanity” is only a stern warning, and people can still alter the planet’s course if they act quickly.

As it stands, unrelenting weather will get worse even if humans work with mother nature instead of against her because the results of any updates will not be immediate. So, it’s essential to modernize the electricity network and support the infrastructure that keeps America running to account for evolving circumstances.

Focusing on Infrastructure

Refreshingly, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to address the power grid issue across the country by compromising on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that will update systems to better deal with climate change.

But the spending to implement the needed weather resilience in the power grid is just a fraction of the required funds to finish the job. However, as long as the US government continues addressing the needs of its citizens, the nation can progress forward and be ready for whatever climate patterns come to call.

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