Frustrated by the grid’s chronic lack of reliability, Americans are turning to alternatives to help restore power.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released its latest report, which looks at how electricity providers can make the grid more reliable.
The report shows that grid reliability could be an even bigger driver of long-term energy security.
The grid is a “critical component of our society,” said James E. White, NREL’s executive director.
“But it’s been neglected for too long.”
The report focuses on the electric grid as an essential part of a resilient economy.
“If the grid can’t keep up with the changing energy demands of our economy, the impact on our economy will be profound,” White said.
“This is why it’s so critical to ensure the grid is resilient.”
It takes the grid three to four years for a reliable energy supply to start to stabilize.
“That’s when we’ve got to think about what can be done to make the system more resilient to the unpredictable demands of an increasingly complex world,” White added.
A number of countries have adopted a plan to reduce the frequency and intensity of lightning strikes, which are the most common causes of power outages.
Other nations are considering using a carbon-neutral energy source, including natural gas, solar, wind, biomass and hydrogen.
In the U.S., however, the energy landscape has been somewhat different.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for carbon-capture technologies that could be used to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to generate electricity.
Some energy experts have suggested that the U,S.
should phase out coal, which would also help the grid.
But many have questioned whether the U.,S.
needs to phase out fossil fuels.
For more information about the NREL report, visit www.nrel.gov.