If you punch in “outage map” in a search engine, you will get a series of maps, ranging from the entire country to state by state and even smaller jurisdictions. These maps show electrical outages across the United States and territories, and they are within 10 minutes of actual time. The data come from the electrical utilities.
The maps are enlightening. At this writing, there are some areas in the dark in Michigan and California. More outages appear on the maps as severe weather sweeps across the country.
Today’s outages are all weather-caused. But in just a few years, they will reflect something else, something more ominous: shortages in the available amount of electricity. They will occur when demand begins to outstrip supply, as it frequently does in some developing countries.
The nation is in the grips of two great transitions: a transition from fossil-based generation (coal, natural gas and some oil) to renewables (primarily wind and solar) and a transition to electricity,…
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