Grid operators are warning summer heatwaves will cause rolling blackouts across the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. Concerns are especially high in California where heat waves drive electricity demand, drought threatens to shut off hydroelectric power stations, and wildfires (and the threat thereof) force outages. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, increases the intensity, duration, and frequency of extreme heat, heatwaves, and droughts and thus essentially supercharges wildfires by turning fuel into veritable tinder.
While relatively few customers lost power in Texas over the weekend, concerns over the state’s notoriously independent grid’s (in)ability to cope with impending summer temperatures are sure to grow. (Nationwide: Wall Street Journal $; California: Sacramento Bee $, AP, New York Times $, Reuters, Bloomberg $; Hydro: S&P Global; Texas: Ft Worth Star-Telegram, Gizmodo, Washington Post $; Weekend outages: Fox7-Austin; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves, Western US megadrought, Wildfires)