Millions of households in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. lost electricity after a series of powerful thunderstorms earlier this week. Storm victims have endured sweltering temperatures of over 100 degrees without air conditioning or refrigeration. The storm caused 17 deaths and the heat could cause many more.
How do we make our power grid more reliable so that such massive outages occur less often? True, we can’t prevent trees from falling on power lines, but we can implement energy-efficient solutions that will increase the reliability of the power grid.
One solution that will increase reliability is the smart meter. During the storms, telecommunications systems were down, making it impossible for residents to call their utility companies to report outages or downed power lines. When a residence has an active smart meter, the utility company can respond to outages and restore power before the person makes a phone call.
Another solution is solar. The majority of power on the American electrical grid is concentrated around large power plants. Damages to a single line can cause massive outages because of that concentration of power. Solar distributes power around the grid, enabling more houses to utilize their own power sources in an emergency and even sell excess power back to the grid.
The expenses associated with green energy options often cause Americans to remain skeptical of energy-efficient solutions.Many consumers want the higher electricity prices that come with infrastructure investments like smart meters. Additionally, few customers can afford to invest in solar panels even with generous government rebates and rapidly falling prices
However, every action that humans take to reduce their carbon footprint makes a difference in power reliability. Human carbon dioxide emissions that have accelerated climate change have also caused the development of more severe weather patterns.
By making changes to bring down the level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, we all can lessen the likelihood that huge storms will be spawned in the first place. Perhaps we can keep trees from falling on power lines after all.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey