Remote work and climate change: Considerations for grid resilience in the 21st century

This paper explores how the unprecedented dependence on remote work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the demand for electricity. The paper discusses how the increased dependence on information and communication technologies has driven a shift in the daytime demand for power, from the commercial sector to the residential sector, prompting changes in the way electric utilities plan for peak load demand. As the article goes on to argue, this exposes the growing need for greater grid resilience in order to safeguard the supply of electricity in the face of increasingly frequent potential disruptions such as extreme weather events. The paper finds that emergency planners and responders, public agencies, utilities and other public and private sector stakeholders will need to collaborate ever more closely when devising and implementing solutions as well as when responding to emergencies.

Keywords: electricity; energy; grid; remote work; resilience