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The Pentagon Says that it is Concerned about Total Collapse of the Power Grid

The Headline: U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says.

The report says a combination of global starvation, war, disease, drought, and a fragile power grid could have cascading, devastating effects.

By Nafeez Ahmed, Oct 24 2019, 9:00 am

Excerpt:

Total collapse of the power grid

“Increased energy requirements” triggered by new weather patterns like extended periods of heat, drought, and cold could eventually overwhelm “an already fragile system.”

At particular risk is the US national power grid, which could shut down due to “the stressors of a changing climate,” especially changing rainfall levels:

“The power grid that serves the United States is aging and continues to operate without a coordinated and significant infrastructure investment. Vulnerabilities exist to electricity-generating power plants, electric transmission infrastructure and distribution system components,” it states.

As a result, the “increased energy requirements” triggered by new weather patterns like extended periods of heat, drought, and cold could eventually overwhelm “an already fragile system.”

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mbmkz8/us-military-could-collapse-within-20-years-due-to-climate-change-report-commissioned-by-pentagon-says

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 25, 2019 1:48 pm GMT

At particular risk is the US national power grid, which could shut down due to “the stressors of a changing climate,” especially changing rainfall levels:

Not to mention how much of the grid is outdated and WAY overdue for upgrades, maintenance, etc. There should be near universal backing to invest in upgrading this equipment across the country, but as the lack of ability for real progress to be made even on infrastructure like roads and bridges I'm unfortunately not holding my breath

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 25, 2019 8:12 pm GMT

Matt, I am just having fun with that.  You know that I maintain that the whole "Global Warming" is a hoax.

The grid is great - it is being with reduced reliability as more renewable come on the grid and base-load fossil fueled plants are dropping off. 

Have a great weekend.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 25, 2019 9:54 pm GMT

Unfortunately, much of the state of the grid-- the raw infrastructure and technology that was built in decades past-- is no matter for fun. We do need massive upgrades. Here's a good overview: https://www.npr.org/2016/08/22/490932307/aging-and-unstable-the-nations-electrical-grid-is-the-weakest-link

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 29, 2019 12:37 pm GMT

Matt, you are great sport, I really enjoy communicating with you.  I am currently on a solar PV project outside Ft. Myers, FL and short of time to watch the 35 minutes piece, will do in the evening.  I did read the brief:

"In her new book, The Grid, Gretchen Bakke argues that the under-funded power grid is incapable of taking the U.S. into a new energy future. She explains the challenges to Fresh Air's Dave Davies."

That might be true, but irrelevant to the subject we are discussing, it is not the hardware, xfmrs, breakers, poles and wires that worry me - it is the electrical energy producers lack fossil-fueled energy diminishing sources mix - that worry me.

Power plants convert one source of energy to another, aka electrical energy in MWH or GWH.  Look at your car - you place liquid in its tank and the engine converts it to a rotational force to spin the wheels.

Power plants use uranium pellets, coal-fired use coal, etc.  Wind energy and solar insolation (irradiation) are converted to electrical energy as well.  Trouble is that those are limited and unreliable on a daily basis, day in and a day out.

To back those unreliable energy sources - we must have fossil-fueled power generation in standby, aka spinning reserve.  Those are dropping off line for being less profitable.  That is the issue.  Noam. 

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 29, 2019 6:57 pm GMT

Matt, I thought about how to explain my concern: For us the grid is a transportation tool - much as a truck, a train, a ship or an airplane. 

The grid should be kept in top notch shape to provide adequate, reliable transportation of power, electrical energy.  The electrical energy is bought and sold in many ways, different points of supply vs. different points use.  All go through the grid.

I am concerned about the loads to be transported.  Having intermittent renewable energy on the line requires adequate back up power aka spinning reserve.

Due to the current trend where renewable is subsidized, base-load fossil fueled plants are quitting the business (for business reasons, not for environmental).  That is a huge issue for the grid reliability.

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