Electric power

Expert Voices

How to prepare the U.S. electric grid for more extreme weather

electric workers repair aboveground power lines
Workers repair the electrical grid after Hurricane Michael on October 16, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

With extreme weather here to stay, from recent heat waves to unseasonable Thanksgiving cold snaps, drastic temperature swings will continue to wreak havoc on the U.S.’ antiquated electricity grid.

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

An electric car charging
Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

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.

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