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Officials are warning that extreme heat could knock out the energy grid this summer in these states

This summer could be one of the hottest on record, and federal officials are warning that energy demands might strain the power grid, leading to outages

With this summer expected to be one of the hottes on record, federal officials are warning that energy demand place too much strain on the grid, leading to outages21 AGOSTO 2023;OLA DE CALOR;VERANO;ALERTA AMARILLA;ESPAÑA;CALOR
Alberto Ortega / Europa Press
Alberto OrtegaEuropa Press

Earlier this week, the US Energy Information Adminstration published a map of the United States highlighting the regions that face a greater threat of power outages this summer. The data reported by the EIA comes from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) 2024 Summer Reliability Assessment, an annual report published each year that identifies weaknesses in the country’s grid as the warmer months approach.

As the map shows, California, Texas, and much of the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Northeast are the areas most threatened by outages.

No high risk regions were identified

“Under normal summer demand conditions, NERC expects the continental United States to have adequate power resources this year,” reports the EIA. However, as NERC’s analysis uncovered, some areas of the country “could be at risk for electricity supply shortages if electricity demand peaks are higher than anticipated or if less electricity is generated than expected.”

The good news is that while some locations face a greater risk, there are no regions that “were considered high risk,” implying that even under “normal summer conditions,” outages could still be seen.

Certain regions NERC assessed are at elevated risk of electricity supply shortages, which means that these areas could face electricity supply shortfalls during periods of more extreme summer conditions.

The threat of extreme heat and the power grid

Climate Central, a climate communications organization, examined weather-related power outages in the United States between 2000 and 2023 and found that only three percent of them were caused by extreme heat. Nevertheless, the risk still exists as the planet warns and hotter summers are expected. As temperatures rise, the energy demand will, too, and suppliers must be prepared to handle that increased demand without overloading the energy infrastructure.

Additionally, researchers found that while not all states had encountered a heat-related outage, between 2012 and 2012, all regions of the country had, showing that the risk spreads from coast to coast and can even affect Alaska and Hawaii.