The darkness across Louisiana left behind by Hurricane Ida is the latest sign, according to Axios, that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.
Climate science studies show that extreme weather events, from wildfires to stronger hurricanes, are expected to continue to ravage the U.S. with greater frequency and ferocity than in previous decades. The country’s current energy infrastructure won’t cut it, says Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert.
As of this morning, more than 1 million customers were still without power in Louisiana, and about 10 parishes’ electrical grids completely collapsed, Jefferson Parish Emergency Management director Joe Valiente tells NPR.
“Extreme weather events like Ida show the value of investment in local transmission projects to replace aging transmission infrastructure with stronger more resilient build out,” says Larry Gasteiger, the group’s executive director, in a statement.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate earlier this month contains grid modernization and resilience funding, but is nowhere near the scale needed to fully address the challenge while building out new transmission, experts say.
Unfortunately, building resilience isn’t cheap, even if it ultimately saves lives and money. Read the full story.