The biggest problem facing the U.S. electric grid isn’t demand. It’s climate change
The power grid in the U.S. is aging and already struggling to meet current demand. It faces a future with more people — people who drive more electric cars and heat homes with more electric furnaces.
Alice Hill says that’s not even the biggest problem the country’s electricity infrastructure faces.
“Everything that we’ve built, including the electric grid, assumed a stable climate,” she says. “It looked to the extremes of the past — how high the seas got, how high the winds got, the heat.”
Hill is an energy and environment expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served on the National Security Council staff during the Obama administration, where she led the effort to develop climate resilience. She says past weather extremes can no longer safely guide future electricity planning.
“It’s a little like we’re building the plane as we’re flying because the climate is changing right now, and it’s picking up speed as it changes,” Hill says.
Another myth collides with ugly reality. EVs aren’t the problem.