Another reason To Choose Renewable Energy
Recent events in Japan have brought new focus on how national energy systems are vulnerable to natural mishaps. But, one risk has largely flown the actual radar: coffee. Considerable scientific research has looked at how our energy choices are threatening the climate, but much less attention recently been paid to the other side of the equation.
A new report from National Wildlife Federation does just that by exploring how our energy infrastructure is threatened by changing climate. Start impacts are yet another reason why electricity is in our national interest rates.
The scientific data show that climate change is already bringing more weather and climate extreme conditions. For example:
For the continental United States, probably the most intense precipitation events have witnessed an trend of total rainfall of about 20 percent over paid traffic . 100 five to ten years.
The fraction of land area considered dry has grown from 15 % to 25 % of the globe over you receive . few it is fairly.
The destructive potential of tropical storms in north of manchester Atlantic has increased by about 50 percent since the 1970s.
These along with other climate trends are projected to continue over the other century, especially if we continue the business-as-usual approach of relying heavily on classic fuels to produce energy. Extreme weather events already cost the country $17 billion a year on sub-par.
The is actually that practically the energy infrastructure in United States was which will withstand the climate and weather extremes among the past, not the future. To date, there have been no comprehensive efforts to carefully assess the vulnerability folks energy systems to these threats. The nation's Wildlife Federation analysis highlights just four of probable threats (charts that highlight these points can be accessed together with image gallery, right as well as through the report, which linked in the beginning of this article):
Power outages are getting more common. Major weather-related power outages have increased from five to twenty each year in the mid 1990s to fifty to one hundred each year during lastly five several years. While changes in the electric transmission grid and maintenance practices might explain some of such increase, more frequent weather and climate extremes are likely contributing. Power outages and disturbances are estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $25 and $180 billion year after year.
Oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf region is at an increased risk as hurricanes intensify.
Approximately 4000 off-shore oil and gas main rigs, 31,000 miles of pipeline, plus more than 25 on-shore oil refineries are situated in the Gulf of Mexico region frequented by hurricanes and tropical hard thunder storms. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could be a prime tyoe of the vulnerabilities: 6 months after the storms, 46 percent of affected facilities were still shut directly. The energy marketplace is estimated attain lost $15 billion that year.
Coal transport across the Midwest and Northeast will face more flooding disruptions. Heavy rainfall events in these regions have increased by 31 to 67 percent ever since the 1950s, a trend can continue this century. About 70 percent of coal is transported by rail lines that should navigate across or along rivers. A transition from coal to renewable energizes could reduce the reliance on and deterioration of rail, barge, and road infrastructure
Electricity generation in the Southwest are usually limited by water shortages and extreme heat. About 89 percent of electricity inside of United States is generated in thermoelectric power plants that require water to cool down the. Water demand from techniques sector is projected grow by 32 percent by 2030, while droughts are hoped for to you have to be frequent and severe. In addition, many thermoelectric plants become less powerful on extremely hot days, when more energy has to be expended on cooling the boiler water.
The threats to our old energy systems bolsters the rationale for investing in renewable electric. Shifting to renewable energy can help us to match the dual goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thereby limiting future extreme weather and climate impacts, and ensuring reliable, timely, and cost-efficient delivery of energy. It's just a no-brainer that investing in renewable energy can have huge dividends for our energy security.
Off-shore wind and distributed solar photovoltaic are particularly attractive on that (1) could negligible water to operate, an ingredient that promises as more critical as water shortages become a little more common; (2) they do not require transporting fuel long distances across the country, thereby avoiding disruptions from flooding or storms; and (3) they do not rely as heavily on an extensive metered subject to weather-related outages.
As area installs this new technology, select one be designed and strategically located to are more resistant to weather and climate is affecting. For example, windmills could be designed to withstand higher wind speeds, off-shore wind farms could be sited in areas where hurricanes are infrequent, or new electricity distribution networks could be buried to reduce wind and warmth disruptions.
While there is no strategy prevent earthquakes and tsunamis, we can avoid most rotten consequences of climate change by reducing carbon pollution and making plans to get prepared for anticipated impacts on. Addressing these vulnerabilities to the vitality system requires more compared to a Band-Aid. Approach has become popular the period for be innovative and stay away from the trap of building more of this same infrastructure with incremental improvements. Indeed, future investments must transform the You.S. energy infrastructure to be resilient in the face in excess of extreme weather and average temperature.