Report•September 14, 2022
Surging Power Outages and Climate Change
Large-scale power outages are increasingly common across the United States. Damaging storms, extreme weather, and a growing demand for electricity are straining our nation’s aging power infrastructure.
Disruptions in the electrical grid affect millions of people each year, putting public health and safety at risk. Power failures have cascading effects on other infrastructure and cost billions of dollars annually.
Between 2000 and 2021, about 83% of reported major outages in the U.S. were attributed to weather-related events. Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of the extreme weather that wreaks havoc on our power grid—from wildfire to heat waves and hurricanes.
Climate Central analyzed data on major power outages in the U.S. from 2000-2021. This supplementary report:
summarizes key findings about power outages and weather events
illustrates how extreme weather is affecting our electrical infrastructure
outlines expectations for our power grid in the face of climate change