According to reports, the United States electrical grid will be extremely vulnerable this winter as demand for heating and electricity soars.
Fossil fuel inventories are dangerously low. So, if temperatures drop below average, it could put serious strain on the grid.
According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), power grids are most vulnerable in the region from the Great Lakes to Louisiana, New England, the Carolinas, and the entirety of Texas.
These areas cover a serious chunk of the Eastern and Central United States. Therefore, it is estimated that blackouts could impact 25 percent of all Americans, or roughly 83 million people.
The NERC’s director of reliability assessment, John Moura, stated:
“The trend is we see more areas at risk, we see more retirements of critical generation, fuel challenges and we are doing everything we can.”
“These challenges don’t kind of appear out of nowhere.”
As Moura points out, we are retiring “critical generation”, meaning nuclear and fossil fuels. Simultaneously, we are implementing unreliable forms of green energy into the mix at a time when energy demand is high.
The United States is actively retiring nuclear energy plants, the most reliable and clean form of energy. The Biden administration has also waged war on fossil fuels, certainly contributing to our low levels of domestic supply.
For example, diesel inventories have only 25 days left of supply, a level not seen since 2008. This led Mansfield Energy to move the Southeast region of the United States into a “code red” regarding diesel inventory.
The company said:
“Because conditions are rapidly devolving and market economics are changing significantly each day, Mansfield is moving to Alert Level 4 to address market volatility. Mansfield is also moving the Southeast to Code Red, requesting 72-hour notice for deliveries when possible to ensure fuel and freight can be secured at economical levels.”
A brief supply chain disruption of this fuel could cause supply gaps for power generation plants this winter.
The Northeastern United States is having to ration heating oil, a fossil fuel byproduct integral in heating homes during winter months. Heating oil inventories are down 20% below the five-year average.
New England Democrats are now asking the Biden administration for an emergency release from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR), a reserve of heating oil similar to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
On top of this, the New England states also face a natural gas shortfall due to inadequate pipeline infrastructure.
James Danly, commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, warned:
“There is a very real possibility that New England could be facing a dire set of consequences this winter.”
To many, this was an issue expected to only be seen in Europe. European countries, like Germany, have been radically reducing their carbon footprint by phasing out fossil fuels from their energy mix.
Subsequently, their energy grid is weaker when they increasingly rely on wind and solar power, far inferior forms of energy. Europe is now bracing for a cold winter, but at least they’re “green”.
It appears we are set to face similar issues across the U.S., a far cry from the American energy dominance had just a few years ago.
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