According to some analysts, the United States has more power outages than any other developed country. Research by Massoud Amin, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Minnesota, found that while people living in the upper Midwest lose power annually for an average of 92 minutes, those in Japan experience only 4 minutes of blackouts per year.
“Each one of these [blackouts] costs tens of hundreds of millions, up to billions, of dollars in economic losses per event,” said Massoud Amin.
In a comparison by the Galvin Electricity Initiative, the average utility customer in the U.S. spent more time with their lights out than eight other industrial countries.
“The root causes” of the increasing number of blackouts are aging infrastructure and a lack of investment and clear policy to modernize the grid. The situation is worsened by gaps in the policies of federal and local commissioners. And now there are new risks to the grid from terrorism and climate change’s extreme impacts, Amin said.