Why Blackouts and Power Outages are Increasing
Aug. 18, 2013
According to a recently released report by the U.S. Department of Energy, power failures are still on the rise. The report, commissioned by the white house, points to the aging grid infrastructure and notes Outages caused by severe weather have become much more commonplace over the past decade.
Power outages are becoming more frequent and are affecting more people. The statistics gathered by the department of energy over the past 10 years show that the number of power failure events is rising and the prediction is for them to keep rising. Take a look at the following chart:
The report points out that 58 percent of all major outages are caused by weather including hurricanes, blizzars and ice storms, and those fast moving thuderstorms that reek havoc mainly during the summer months. Of course, there are many more causes of outages including equipment failures, human error operational failures, animals and auto accidents. But the rport mostly deals with outages that affect 50,000 customers or more.
The report also goes on the highlight the aging U.S. electrical infrastructure where the grid is becomming more vulnerable to major weather events. In the report, the data show that installations of grid equipment including towers and high tension lines have declined the late sixties and early seventies.
There is no indication that the severe weather events are on the rise, or that the grid is getting old and damaged during these events more easily. But 70 percent of the grid infrastructure is more that 25 years old.
The report by the DOE suggests that there is a case for modernizing the grid but that will take many years to accomplish even with funding - which may becoms a political skirmish in the months and years to come.
White House Report: Power Outages Expected to Increase, Get More Expensive
Public News Service
The blackout-tracking company Eaton says there were 55 power outages in Maryland last year, and more than half of them were caused by weather. Saks said he hopes the White House will continue to address more of the causes and consequences of ...