- Climate change and soaring energy prices could make widespread blackouts more common, even in wealthy nations.
- Californians narrowly averted statewide blackouts, and Britons impacted by the war in Ukraine will soon pay nearly double for electricity.
- As energy costs soar higher, a new age of rolling outages and grid instability looms large.
Stock up on batteries, candles, and non-perishable snacks. Blackouts are coming.
For the first time in decades, the western world is preparing for widespread and rolling energy shortages. The US, UK, and EU have all been squeezed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, soaring costs for electricity and fuel, and record-breaking heat waves. While fall is just around the corner, the worst of the energy strain is likely still to come.
Even wealthy nations won’t be spared, at least without broad broad policy change and private-sector overhauls. Add in the accompanying economic costs and extreme health risks, and you have a very difficult situation.
In California, it will materialize as outage warnings and restrictions on your air conditioning. Then in coming years, Texans, Illinoisans, and Missourians will join the suffering of their west coast peers amid sweltering heat and rolling blackouts.
And across Europe and the UK, residents not used to heat waves will either face skyrocketing energy bills or dangerously hot summers — a situation made worse by their reliance on Russian gas, the flow of which has been essentially cut off entirely.
In the US, climate change risks decades of ‘extreme danger’
Amid record-high temperatures on the west coast Tuesday afternoon, California’s grid operator ISO urged residents to limit their energy use and cautioned that rolling blackouts could arrive.
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