A new study shows extreme weather events and increasing usage of unconventional fossil fuels will leave national energy grids unable to keep up with increasing demands for energy, Motherboard reports. Research published by the Journal of Urban Technology in September reveals that 50 major power outages have happened in 26 countries over the past 10 years. Over that same period the number of blackouts in America had affected 50,000 people and more than doubled. The main causes of these outages are rapid population growth in big cities combined with a growing “addiction” to power-hungry lifestyles that depend on electricity.
Professors Steve Hugh Byrd of Lincoln University and Steve Matthewman of Auckland University authored the study. The two say growing demand for electricity is coinciding with a constraining of resources due to the depletion of fossil fuels, a lack of renewable energy, peak oil and climate change. “We need a fundamental re-think about how electricity is generated and distributed, and who controls this,” Byrd told Motherboard. “It’s not in the interests of the privatized power industry to encourage less electricity consumption.”
And the blackouts that have been happening are just “dress rehearsals” for the future, when massive power outages are expected to happen more often and with greater severity. “We predict increasing numbers of blackouts due to growing uncertainties in supply and growing certainties for demand,” the study says. Sounds like a good time to start stocking up on solar panels.