Editor’s note: Amid record cold temperatures and skyrocketing energy demand, utilities across the central U.S. have ordered rolling blackouts to ration electricity, leaving millions of people without power. Energy expert Michael E. Webber explains why weather extremes can require such extreme steps.
1. The Plains states have a lot of wild weather. Why is this cold wave such a problem for utilities?
The central U.S. has freezes, heat waves, windstorms, droughts and floods. All of these events stress the electric grid, pipeline networks, roads, rail and waterways. Right now in my state of Texas, ERCOT, a nonprofit corporation that manages the power grid for most of the state, is imposing rolling blackouts because demand for electric heating is very high. So is the Southwest Power Pool, which serves customers in 14 states from North Dakota to Oklahoma.
Originally published at https://www.thedailybeast.com/4-big-questions-answered-about-weather-and-blackouts?source=articles&via=rss on .