Surprising New Threat to US Power Grid Could Plunge The Country Into Darkness

Surprising New Threat to US Power Grid Could Plunge The Country Into Darkness

– The importance of a strong power grid cannot be emphasized enough. Often, when a grid fails, the results are terrifying. Of all the major power grids in the world, the United States’ is one of the more vulnerable to attack.

State-sponsored hackers from the likes of Iran, Russia, and, unsurprisingly, China pose a real threat to the United States’ electrical transmission lines. However, there’s another (far less obvious) threat to the grid: electric vehicles (EVs).

However, as mentioned, Americans must concern themselves with more “benign” threats. A recent paper, published in Applied Energy, discussed the threat of electric cars to the grid. Currently, there are 2.5 million electric vehicles in the United States; four in five owners opt to charge their cars overnight. This decision, according to the researchers, is putting a considerable strain on power grids.

By 2025, the United States will have more than 20 million EVs on its roads. By 2030, according to Bloomberg, more than half of car sales will be electric. The strain is increasing, and power grids are ill-equipped to shoulder the load.

If Bloomberg’s projection proves to be correct, then, as the researchers note, it will take 5.4 gigawatts of energy storage to charge EVs. To put 5.4 gigawatts into perspective, one nuclear power plant produces 1 gigawatt of energy. The United States currently has 55 power plants. To facilitate the new EV revolution, the United States requires many more. Considering California, the largest state in the country, has moved to ban the sale of gas-powered cars, and other states are considering introducing similar measures, the United States needs to get a move on. Time is very much of the essence.

What would happen if, say, the power grid was to fail in EV-crazed California? To answer that question, we need only rewind a few months. This past summer, plagued by scorching hot temperatures, the Golden State’s power grid came incredibly close to collapsing.

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