Growing demand coupled with inefficiencies in our electric grid have impacted the reliability our nation’s electric power.
Experts on the nation's electricity system point to a frighteningly steep increase in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers. During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent -- up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota. The blackout in 2003 blackout that struck the Northeast and parts of the Midwest impacted millions of people and cost billions.
Rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost an estimated $80 billion a year (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2005). And with 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines we know the challenge ahead is great.
Embracing smart grid technologies will result in more efficient transmission of electricity; quicker restoration of electricity after power outages; reduced peak demand which wouldhelp lower rates; and improved security. To maintain our economic prosperity, our nation must rely on 21st Century smart grid innovations and technologies.