This story is part of Fix’s What’s Next Issue, which looks ahead to the ideas and innovations that will shape the climate conversation in 2022, and asks what it means to have hope now. Check out the full issue here.
Power is a lot like oxygen or water from the tap — you notice it only when it’s gone.
But the nation’s electrical grid, saddled with aging infrastructure and battered by increasingly volatile and extreme weather, struggles to meet our insatiable energy needs. Much of the trouble is physical in nature — transmission lines break due to wildfires or frost, for example, and excessive demand causes blackouts. But some of it is because “the grid” is actually three complex and largely independent systems, each subject to different regulatory standards. Texas’s deregulated system collapsed in a catastrophic grid-wide meltdown and a record-breaking winter storm in 2021. Such disruptions are going to increase in frequency and severity barring a complete overhaul, and the most vulnerable residents, typically Black, brown, and low-income communities, will bear the brunt of ... Read more