Severe Weather and Environmental Responses

Hurricane Harvey over Texas

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Can the smart use of microgrids using renewable or more efficient energy sources help avoid power outages in future hurricanes?

In Houston, Texas, at least one set of grocery stores were able to get power quickly after Hurricane Harvey, thanks to reliance upon a microgrid that could obtain alternative power from underground natural gas sources. Others, including billionaire Richard Branson, suggest that thoughtful implementation of microgrids could assist in resiliency for Caribbean islands and other hurricane-vulnerable areas. R. Branson & A. Lovins, “How to keep the lights on after a hurricane”, New York Times, op. ed. Page for October 23, 2017.

The Congressional Research Service published a paper on various ways Congress might consider to “harden” electrical infrastructure, “Hurricanes and Electricity Infrastructure Hardening” (Sept. 20, 2017).

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