Powerful hurricane Ida which gained strength from the hot Gulf waters (from global warming) destroyed square miles of buildings as it came ashore. Then caused massive flooding as it moved through the country.
The entire electrical grid failed in New Orleans! It will be weeks or months before full power returns.
In February this year the power grid for the entire state of Texas failed.
Each hurricane also renews calls to find new ways to produce and distribute energy in the face of climate change, which experts say is leading to more frequent and more devastating storms. In New Orleans, advocates have tried to push Entergy to invest more in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, and technologies that provide electricity to the area where it is produced.
Those concerns, along with worries about pollution in residential neighborhoods, fueled resistance to Entergy’s plan to build the new natural gas-powered plant in New Orleans East. Even after the company admitted to playing a role in the hiring of actors to support the project at public meetings, the council approved the plant. Groups that opposed the plan sued, and the case made it to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which upheld the council’s vote.
“Over and over we have tried to say we need not only climate action for renewables, but also we need to be adaptive to what is coming, because the traditional system to move power isn’t going to be able to help us weather these storms,” said Logan Atkinson Burke, executive director of the Alliance for Affordable Energy. “We’ve been ignored by utilities and regulators, and we are concerned that now, yet again, we will have this system rebuilt the same way we’ve done it and it will do us no good the next time.”Slow return of power raises questions about a New Orleans plant that was supposed to deliver electricity after hurricanes. Calls for an investigation of Entergy’s power outages follow a wave of complaints about the company by Jon Schuppe, NBC News, Sept 1, 2021
Hurricane Ida thoroughly wrecked New Orleans’ power supply, preying on vulnerabilities that are only likely to get worse in the future as storms like Ida become more fierce. The storm knocked out all eight transmission lines that bring power into New Orleans, plunging the city into darkness. The damage was so intense that a new gas-fired power plant — sold as something that could keep the lights on after big storms — took days to bring power to the nearest neighborhood.
To keep the lights on in the future, leaders need to abandon old strategies and build up different kinds of energy infrastructure, experts say. The fallout from Ida is yet another reminder of how fragile the country’s existing energy infrastructure is, especially as climate change brings on more extreme weather.
“We’ve been saying, you know, we can’t depend on the traditional system,” says Logan Atkinson Burke, executive director of the local consumer advocacy group Alliance for Affordable Energy. “We need to be planning for the kind of climate impacts that we know are coming, and here they are. Having not planned for them, we’re experiencing the kinds of problems we expected.”NEW ORLEANS NEEDS A BETTER BACKUP PLAN FOR BLACKOUTS. A new gas plant still isn’t enough to solve the city’s power problems by Justine Calma, Sep 1, 2021
“How about phasing out fossil fuels and quit acting like addicts? Let’s have a new green revolution. Let’s take the green path.” Winona Laduke (in video below). Winona was arrested while protecting the water from Line 3. Honor the Earth says that the “charge of the colonial world is in conflict with the Anishinaabeg,” citing a 2019 White Earth Nation tribal law which requires the White Earth Nation to stand up for and protect the rights of wild rice and other sacred food.
2 thoughts on “Cannot depend on traditional power sources”
Thank you, Jeff!
When I lived in France, even my EnerCoop friends, energy activists, like me, I thought, laughed at my questions about a pedal power laptop generator after I read that an author wrote two of her novels using a pedal wheel built by her husband to power her laptop (apparently she wanted they lived in a place where the grid was unreliable?). I thought that went well with our values, so I asked my fellow activists about it, and they all laughed at the idea, insisting that only large scale installations were viable, even for small home projects.
So, then I began to wonder:
if the principle of electricity generation is so easy to grasp, then why are we not all taught how to make personal level generators, and encouraged to build at least small generators that could power, say, our cell phones, sort of like the wind-up torches and hand-cranked radios that about in parts of England and Britany?
I think that in the US, we need a better way of educating ourselves about how electricity is generated, and just how easy it actually is to power our own devices, given the right gear. It is important to at least understand the principle behind this, and to democratize the access to power of all kinds, not to mention food, shelter, and health care, but I talk more at length about this elsewhere.
Planning for and addressing these issues over the long term are indeed about mutual aid, as you have pointed out. I’d like to work together on this, if you are interested.