The weather-related impacts of climate change will increasingly threaten critical infrastructure in the future. Shifting electricity grids towards microgrids could help.
In an era of climate change and extreme weather, a microgrid — a self-sufficient, energy-generating distribution and control system — puts communities on the path to self-reliance.
Small-scale renewable energy projects can power rural areas not connected to the main grid. But investors may hesitate if future electrification remains unpredictable.
Making electric grids better able to withstand extreme weather events will require teamwork from engineers, researchers and the government.
As South American countries recover from a massive blackout, the US isn't immune: The Northeast Blackout of 2003 cut power to 50 million people, and many threats to the electricity grid remain.
Blockchain technology could be applied to our energy grids to make them smarter, and turn energy consumers into producers.
Yes, Puerto Rico and any other storm-vulnerable location could benefit from on-site solar and battery backup, but it's unrealistic to say these microgrids are enough to power the island.
US military bases usually get their electricity from the civilian grid, which is vulnerable to attack and to disaster. Solar-powered microgrids could protect national security, and would save money.