According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American home endured more than eight hours without power in 2020 – more than double the outage time five years ago. The 2021 numbers haven’t been crunched yet, but it’s safe to assume that it’s going to be the new leader.
In February last year, severe winter storms caused a power failure in Texas, leaving millions of homes in the dark, sometimes for days, and at least 200 dead. In June and July, heat waves in Oregon melted power cables and triggered blackouts, contributing to many of the more than 95 heat-related deaths in the state. Around the same time, heat waves in British Columbia claimed nearly 600 lives. A couple of months later, Hurricane Ida knocked out power for at least 1.2 million homes and businesses across eight states, killing at least 12 Louisianans. A mid-November storm that dumped a month’s worth of rain on British Columbia led to $7.5 billion in damage and 15,000 people having to flee their homes. And finally, by December, a total of 8,835 fires burned more than 2.5 million acres of Californian land. All this is just North America.