As the snow flies and temperatures plummet, regulatory agencies and analysts alike warn that residents in multiple states are at an elevated risk of dangerous winter blackouts.
Areas like Texas, the Great Lakes region, New England, and North Carolina, are in the highest risk category, according to a report from the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
In the same analysis, the agency concluded that a “large portion” of the U.S. power grid is at risk of insufficient electricity supplies during peak winter conditions.
Though climate change advocates claim severe weather events are the primary culprit, energy insiders say tight fuel supplies and an outdated electric grid play a critical role in potential blackouts.
Conservative estimates this year put the cost of critical power grid and infrastructure upgrades at $4 trillion with the use of supplemental nuclear power. Without nuclear energy, the price tag bumps up another $500 million dollars.
The administration of President Joe Biden approved a $13 billion stopgap measure to “modernize and expand” the power grid on Nov. 18. However, members of the energy community say it will take months or years for U.S. residents to see the difference.