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‘Energy Emergencies’: US Summer Blackout Risks Grow Amid Global Energy Crisis

By Andrew Moran

Many parts of North America are at risk of experiencing blackouts this summer, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned in a new dire report.

According to the non-profit organization’s “Summer Reliability Assessment” report (pdf), there could be widespread summer blackouts amid shuttered power plants, supply chain snafus, and intense heat. The group, which promotes grid stability and security, cautioned that power supplies in a large swath of the United States and Canada, extending from the Great Lakes to the Midwest, will be over-stretched due to growing demand.

NERC added that electricity sources would be notably tighter because of older plants shutting down or other facilities struggling to find enough fuel.

Plus, the report noted that power grids could be the target of surging cyberattacks in the coming months.

“The electricity and other critical infrastructure sectors face cyber security threats from Russia and other potential actors amid heightened geopolitical tensions in addition to ongoing cyber risks,” the report stated. “Russian attackers may be planning or attempting malicious cyber activity to gain access and disrupt the electric grid in North America in retaliation for support to Ukraine.”

The early retirement of fossil fuel plants has been a critical issue throughout the energy landscape, while natural gas and coal entities are running at maximum capacity.