Enlarge (credit: Los Alamos National Lab)

Climate change is driven in part by our production of electricity. And there’s a chance for feedback here, as the warming will significantly impact our overall consumption of electricity. In fact, it has been suggested that the majority of costs of climate change will likely come from the additional expense of indoor cooling. This will come through both a steady background of warmer temperatures and periods of high demand during extreme heat events.

As it stands, the electricity grid is designed to withstand days of high usage, which typically fall on the hottest days of the year. Right now, US grid operators are typically capable of supplying 15 to 20 percent above the forecasted peak electricity load. If the intensity or frequency of these extreme heat days increases, our current grid may not be able to meet the demand.

If it won’t, then we need to evaluate the electricity supply infrastructure and provide additional investments in peak generation capacity, transmission, and storage. Recently, a team of scientists analyzed the impacts of climate change on the US grid to get some answers.

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Source: US electric grid isn’t ready to handle our future climate | Ars Technica

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