Over 2.5 million people in the United States rely on electricity to power critical medical equipment in their homes. This medically vulnerable population is at risk of being left without access to critical medical equipment in the event of a power outage. As natural disasters and severe weather continue to leave millions in the dark, and utility conducted preventative outages become more commonplace, those reliant on electricity-dependent medical equipment to live independently face increasing uncertainty as to how they’ll power their medical equipment when the lights go out.
Battery storage, especially when paired with solar PV (solar+storage), can help mitigate this risk by providing reliable residential backup power in the event of an outage, allowing medically vulnerable residents to shelter-in-place or safely wait for evacuation in their own home. In addition to providing backup power, solar+storage can also deliver economic benefits through utility bill cost savings and revenue generation. Diesel generators, by comparison, do not provide any economic benefits, are prone to failure, difficult to operate, and limited by fuel storage and availability during a disaster.
Resilient power can also help critical facilities, such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, provide community services through an outage. Without access to in-home emergency power, electricity-dependent residents will turn to these facilities when disaster strikes, and many will require access to outlets to charge their medical equipment.
Clean Energy Group’s work at the intersection of health care and energy storage aims to:
Prevent or minimize deaths and public health crises caused by power outages by creating models for clean, resilient power systems in vulnerable homes and critical health facilities such as hospitals, senior centers, and other facilities serving those in need
Better identify medically vulnerable populations by building better data
Develop and advance clean energy strategies and policies specific to low-income, home health and home care patients
Build a diverse coalition of health and energy leaders, industry experts, academics, and community organizations to advocate for resilient power in critical medical facilities and home care settings
Assist in developing markets for battery storage systems that meet the specific needs of the home health and home care community;
Integrate equity concerns into existing public health and emergency management policies
Support disaster response efforts through reliable onsite renewable energy generation and storage
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Clean Energy Group raises concerns about harmful NOx emissions from new industry plans to burn hydrogen in fossil fuel power plants; calls for pause in permitting proposals until independent public health investigations are conducted -- particularly to study potentially dangerous air pollution impacts in environmental justice communities.
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