Claim: US West’s power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change – but environmentalism might be a bigger threat

Watts Up With That?

From: Arizona State University

TEMPE, Arizona — Electricity generation and distribution infrastructure in the Western United States must be “climate-proofed” to diminish the risk of future power shortages, according to research by two Arizona State University engineers.

Expected increases in extreme heat and drought events will bring changes in precipitation, air and water temperatures, air density and humidity, write Matthew Bartos and Mikhail Chester in the current issue of the research journal Nature Climate Change.

The authors say the changing conditions could significantly constrain the energy generation capacity of power plants – unless steps are taken to upgrade systems and technologies to withstand the impacts of a generally hotter and drier climate.

Bartos is a research scientist and Chester is an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Chester also has an appointment in the School…

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