This Power Grid Disaster Could Leave America in Darkness
(RightWing.org) – Every day, Americans turn on the lights in their homes or offices. Refrigerators keep food cool or frozen, and hot water heaters make warm showers possible. Yet every day, the electric grid that supplies power to these devices and more could collapse and leave the country in darkness.
The American power grid is considered one of the most vulnerable in the world. It’s at significant risk of state-sponsored hacks from China, Iran, and Russia. While that’s not good, US climate change energy policies could also cripple energy supplies. One of the chief culprits could be electric vehicles as some states begin eliminating the legal sale of gas-powered cars and trucks.
Is the Power Grid at Risk of Leaving Americans in the Dark?
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country’s electrical grid is a complex network that includes over 7,300 power plants, approximately 160,000 miles of high-voltage energy lines, millions of miles of low-voltage power lines and transformers, and connects 145 million customers. The grid is made of three regions: the Eastern, Western, and ERCOT (Texas’ independent system). While they can disconnect from one another, if one fails, tens of millions of people would be without power for a potentially long time.
Since 2016, the system has faced numerous hacking attempts. In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Russian hackers gained access to control rooms of electric utility companies. They used common means, such as phishing emails, to access networks. Often, they are collecting data on how companies operate the grid system with the goal of learning “how to take the normal and make it abnormal.” Some officials said utility companies might not even know they’ve been compromised.
But subversive actions are not the only threat to our electricity.
Electric Vehicles Likely To Become Threat to Energy Distribution System
Over the last 18 months, President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have made a strong move to push electric vehicles (EV). On August 5, 2021, the White House released a fact sheet stating a target of 50% in EV sales in 2030. Car and Drive magazine noted how the roughly 2.5 million EVs in use are already causing a strain. In 2025, there could be over 20 million of them on the road.
According to the US Energy Department, a single nuclear plant producer creates approximately one gigawatt of power per year. The US has 54 power plants, which means there won’t be enough load to handle today’s energy supply plus 20 million battery-powered vehicles.
Dr. Massoud Amin, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Minnesota, told Smithsonian Magazine that energy “underpins our economy, our quality of life, our society” and how the electric distribution system could fail America if it collapses.
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