Climate-Related Blackouts Could Have California Seeing Red


Californians are expected to see more frequent and intense heat waves over the next century, researchers are saying, and that could lead to an overburdened electricity grid and rolling blackouts.

Scientists at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied several greenhouse-gas emission scenarios developed by the United Nations-formed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change . These scenarios were matched to current heat-wave trends, and researchers determined that heat waves will be starting earlier each summer , and will be longer and more frequent than they are now. Resulting increased air-conditioning use could strain the state's electricity supply.

In fact, researchers estimate future electricity demand due to extreme summer temperatures will reach 65,000 MW by 2010 , up from approximately 55,000 MW in summer 2004. A population boom in California's steamy Central Valley is helping to push this anticipated rise in demand. The scientists state that widespread and prolonged heat extremes in the interconnected western U.S. could force California's energy reserves down to a level requiring rolling blackouts to maintain the integrity of the system.

Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
May 2018
40 Under 40 winners, fire and life safety, performance-based designs, and more
April 2018
VRFs, lighting controls, BIM coordination, and more
March 2018
Sizing water pipes, ASHRAE 90.1, recovering waste heat, and more
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me