Why it matters: In 2017 alone, power outages affected more than 36 million Americans — more than double the 17.9 million who were affected in 2016. Blackouts of all magnitudes have been estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $104 billion and $164 billion per year.
The energy thirst of pot, electric vehicles, and servers
A new Morningstar note explores three reasons why they see U.S. power demand rising through at least 2030: new demand from growing marijuana, charging electric cars, and powering data centers.
Why it matters: The note shows how the power grid is facing new challenges even as the overall energy efficiency of the economy grows — and how some utilities can benefit from new markets for their energy.
- The analysts note sees those three sectors growing to reach 6% of total U.S. power demand by 2030.
Threat level: "The most successful utilities must attract these industries by investing in grid expansion, smart networks, safety, reliability, and renewable energy during the next decade," it states.