The power grid gets climate proof

climate change, grid, smart grid, electricity, Sandy, New York, Heat damage, Renewables

The application proposed a $2.4 billion spending increase through 2016, of which $1 billion would go toward making the grid more resilient to future storms and flooding.

The short-term $1 billion resiliency plan, is the first step in what is expected to be the USA’s most extensive effort to climate-proof an electric grid. The Con Edison (power supplier) plan involves:

  • floodwalls around substations and transformers to help prevent storm water from swallowing and frying the equipment
  • strengthen poles to withstand thrashing winds, move many high-voltage power lines underground
  • install back-up fuel supply systems to prevent soaring demand during heat waves from crashing the grid

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Lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy



Sandy was actually predicted by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (UK), a week before it arrived.

But, in the wake of superstorm Sandy, much of New York City was plunged into darkness.

What can we learn from this big flooding in New York? Read More

Flood risks: is London in danger?

Flood, climate change, London Flood Barrier, sea level rising

Thames Barrier: A series of river gates, it was built in the 1970s to protect vulnerable London from storm surges. In 1990, the Thames Barrier closed once or twice a year on average, while in 2003 it closed 14 times. It is expected to be useful only for another 50 years because of sea level rise.

Melting ice from the poles could make sea levels rise by up to three feet by the end of the century, scientists claim. 

The Thames Barrier would struggle to cope with predicted storm surges, experts say, leaving London at risk of ‘great floods’.

London’s ‘at risk’ list includes the Houses of Parliament, Canary Wharf, 86 railway and Tube stations, 16 hospitals and over half a million homes. And the iconic silver pods of the Thames Barrier can’t keep rising tides at bay forever.

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New York gets free internet

New York is sustainable, recycling phone cells into wifi hotsports

New York is sustainable, recycling phone cells into wi-fi hotsports

New York recyles old phone cells into wi-fi hotspots.

Who ever was in New York, knows that there is no city in the world with so many (modest) phones. Most of them are now useless. Almost, because while – as a result of Hurricane Sandy – almost all communication failed by the power outage, the phones were working. Read More