Euronews: Blackout Fatigue Threatens Our Climate Change Resilience


While we may never control storms, understanding the causes of power outages has given us the ability to manage them effectively. When facing approaching storms, people prepare for various disruptions, but how do we brace for the uncontrollable: a blackout?

In a season marked by relentless storms, large-scale power cuts have affected numerous households. Beyond the scale, some regions face repeated blackouts, leading to a phenomenon known as ‘blackout fatigue.’ The need for resilience, often discussed in the context of climate change, applies not only to infrastructure but also to individuals.

However, the frequent and severe power losses should not be accepted as inevitable consequences of extreme weather. Climate change intensifies these events, and while governments struggle to implement preventive measures, the recurring causes of outages, such as falling trees, remain unaddressed.

Despite having data and opportunities to learn from past storms, our response remains reactive rather than proactive. Instead of taking action, we can leverage technologies like “digital twin” modeling and AI to predict and mitigate risks, identifying hazards like encroaching trees on power lines and automating vegetation management.

These technologies offer accurate simulations of weather events, allowing utilities to respond swiftly and safely. As weather patterns globally become more unpredictable, these advancements can extend to various extreme events.

Rather than leaving citizens without power, stress-testing infrastructure is essential. Embracing technological tools and accumulated knowledge can redefine our preparation for storms, offering speed and certainty in restoring power. It’s crucial to act before the next storm season arrives.

Taco Engelaar, an energy infrastructure expert and Managing Director at Neara, advocates for the adoption of these tools to restore meaning to storm preparedness.


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