The smoke from Canadian wildfires didn’t just block the sun and make the air unhealthy to breathe in much of New England this week. It also blunted solar power production and made it harder to forecast electricity demand in the region, according to the regional grid operator.
“Climate change is going to cause more and more of these kinds of issues,” said Kyle Murray, the Massachusetts program director of Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.
At this point, it’s hard to say that human-induced climate change is directly causing the wildfires in Eastern Canada, but it certainly makes the sort of drought and hotter-than-average temperatures that lead to wildfires more likely.
As the smoke from the Canadian wildfires continues to dissipate over New England, Murray said he sees two big takeaways: First, New England needs to stop making the climate problem worse by burning fossil fuels. And second, it needs to build a more modern and flexible grid that relies on multiple sources of renewable energy.
“We need to learn strategies for how to mitigate [impacts] and how to think creatively going forward because the problem isn’t going away,” Murray said.
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