Fixing the Power Grid

fixing the power grid

I recently stumbled onto an interesting article by a former Navy guy that puts forth some thought-provoking recommendations for fixing the power grid.  Much of the list is a rehash of things we’ve likely all heard before, but there are several unique ideas, and plus the consolidation of everything into a single list adds value.

Ideas for Fixing the Power Grid

Let’s get right to it and review some of the highlights.  To read the entire list of potential solutions for fixing the power grid, click here.

  • Improve vegetation control – in other words, conduct frequent tree trimming to reduce the risk of branches falling onto wires.
  • Improve policies around renewable energy – this category includes things designed to keep the grid stable in the face of increasing generation diversity, such as restricting the amount of solar power that can be imported into the grid at any given time, continuing to invest in gas generation, and increasing neighborhood circuit thresholds.
  • Increase investment into smart grid technology – a smart grid is often considered the most important element of fixing the power grid, and it would ideally encompass real time sensors to self-monitor, in order to proactively address issues before they lead to a disruption.
  • Develop more microgrids – this would help “decentralize” the grid so that each outage would essentially effect fewer households.

Despite the author’s clear political bias, I think he makes some great points.  It will be interesting to see which ideas come to fruition, and how fast they get implemented.  Fixing the power grid is certainly not an easy proposition!  In the meantime, we must hope for the best but prepare for the worst by executing regular emergency training sessions, as well as scenario-driven exercises and drills.

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