News and Events
Recap: Energy Resilience in the Face of Climate Change
Energy consumption in the U.S. has steadily increased during the past few years, with 90 percent of total consumption coming from the residential sector.
While energy consumption has increased, blackouts and outages have also increased due to an aging energy infrastructure.
On February 2, Bandana Kar with the Department of Energy spoke at the Baker Center’s Energy and Environment Forum on the importance of resilient energy resources and the current energy infrastructure’s impact on communities around the U.S.
Kar’s work aims to create resilience within the U.S.’s energy infrastructure by having more information to make better resource allocation and strategy decisions. The Presidential Policy Directive defines resilience as “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions” and the “ability to withstand and recover from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally occurring threats or incidents.”
Kar’s research focused on the impacts of hurricanes and winter storms to U.S. energy infrastructure and residents as storms forced individuals to leave or remain in their homes without power.
A DoE project called EAGLE-I uses satellite imagery to monitor wide areas’ power outages, allowing decision-makers to send resources directly where they’re needed first. EAGLE-I monitors energy infrastructures to report live outages and potential threats and prepare for future emergency response and recovery. Another part of Kar’s work is to help decide the placement of strategic alternate energy sources like generators or microgrids to reach important places, such as hospitals.
Those two projects led to the creation of the Situation-Temporal Awareness Tool for Integrated Oil and Natural Gas Systems (STATIONS) and the Restoration of Power Outages from Wide-area Severe Weather Disruptions (RePOWERD). STATIONS, which is hosted by Oakridge National Laboratory, provides a strategy to refill gas stations in emergencies and allows for coordination between first responders. The goal of RePOWERD is to model power restoration after emergencies and be able to predict how long it takes to restore 80 percent of the power.
These tools and data would allow for the Department of Energy to create policies and new technologies that can help prevent and combat power outages across the U.S. and possibly the world.
To watch the forum, go to tiny.utk.edu/BandanaKar.