Friday, July 18, 2014

Aging US Power Grid Blacks Out More Than Any Other Developed Nation

on July 17 2014 3:01 PM
The skyline of lower Manhattan, as seen from Exchange Place, is mostly in darkness except for the Goldman Sachs building, after a power outage caused by Superstorm Sandy, in New York, Oct. 30, 2012. Reuters
The United States endures more blackouts than any other developed nation as the number of U.S. power outages lasting more than an hour have increased steadily for the past decade, according to federal databases at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).
According to federal data, the U.S. electric grid loses power 285 percent more often than in 1984, when the data collection effort on blackouts began. That’s costing American businesses as much as $150 billion per year, the DOE reported, with weather-related disruptions costing the most per event.
“Each one of these [blackouts] costs tens of hundreds of millions, up to billions, of dollars in economic losses per event,” said Massoud Amin, director of the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, who has analyzed U.S. power grid data since it became available in the '80s.

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