SESSION 12: Grid Vulnerability to Weather and Climate Extremes--past, present, and future

Session 12, Wednesday, 26 January at 3:45 PM

(Joint between the Presidential Sessions, the 13th Conference on Environment and Health, and the 13th Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy)

Houston, Texas provides a strategic geographical backdrop to discuss electric grid vulnerability issues in the context of climate change and extreme weather. Houston has experienced two destructive and extreme weather events in the last 5 years: Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the Texas Freeze of 2021. Both events had substantial impacts on grid infrastructure and electric power delivery.

For this Presidential Session, moderated by Dr. Jeff Freedman (co-Chair of the 13th Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy) a panel composed of experts from the utility and atmospheric science communities will discuss the issues confronting the current and future grid infrastructure in the context of a changing climate and the new energy economy, including:

1.  How can we leverage state-of-the-art weather prediction models to build resiliency into the current grid infrastructure?

2.  What steps should we be taking to “harden” grid infrastructure in the face of more extreme weather and climate?

3.  What should future grid capabilities be, in the context of climate change, extreme weather, and renewable energy generation?

This session will also touch upon the electrical grid failures in New Orleans (Hurricane Ida of 2021), the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states (2020 Hurricane Isaias), the August 10, 2020, derecho (Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana), and the California wildfires (Fall 2020 and Summer/Fall 2021).