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Summer’s Extreme Heat Waves Have Not Caused Blackouts – Here’s Why.

Summer's extreme heat waves are felt by people. (Photo: iStock)

Extreme heat waves have broken records, scorching temperatures have covered much of the Southwest to the Midwest and Northeast in July. However, the nation’s electric grid has held firm. 

Summer’s extreme heat waves are felt by people. (Photo: iStock)

Summer’s extreme heat waves have not caused blackouts and power outages, instead several things are going right. There are four factors as to why extreme heat waves are far less dangerous than they might have been.

From the article of USA Today, there have been no blackouts, as what happened last year. No rolling power outages as NERC alerted that it would have been an issue. Even though there has been a surge in summer’s extreme heat waves. Instead, there are four factors that have come together to make this summer’s extreme heat waves bearable. 

Energy experts stated these four factors as:

  1. More diverse energy sources, including the increase of solar and wind powers
  2. Better plans and preparedness
  3. Higher levels of hydroelectric power due to winter rains and snow
  4. Demand response programs that offered consumer rebates to ease up on energy use during the hottest parts of the day.

Although the energy grid is getting creaky, as a whole, more and more energy sources are diversifying making it more flexible.

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Extreme heat waves have yet to trigger blackouts and here’s why.

Even though the country has seen much demand, systems are holding on, said John Moura, the director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis for NERC. Over the past 70 years, the US energy mix has changed from coal to natural gas and nuclear. But, in the last 20 years, wind and solar powers have been increasing part of the mix. Last year, 14% of the US’ electricity was generated by solar and wind powers. 

In Texas, extreme heat waves have sweltered upon them and yet, their grid has held because of the flexible power input of their state. Because of extreme heat waves, Texas has reached pretty huge records in terms of hourly electrical use, by at least 10 times more than last year’s 80, 000 megawatts. Being able to have different sources of energy has made the Texas grid able to keep up with the demand, especially now with summer’s extreme heat waves.

John Moura also said that extreme heat waves of summer is not yet over, there are still a few weeks to look at, as well as risky periods to come.

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