How reliable is our electricity?

According to a new report on the world’s growing dependence on electricity, the reliability of America’s power grid is increasingly threatened while the technologies needed are delayed in commercial deployment due to a lack of financial incentives and R&D. This and other key findings of the Electricity Technology Roadmap were discussed in a recent press conference held by Kurt Yeager, president and

According to a new report on the world’s growing dependence on electricity, the reliability of America’s power grid is increasingly threatened while the technologies needed are delayed in commercial deployment due to a lack of financial incentives and R&D. This and other key findings of the Electricity Technology Roadmap were discussed in a recent press conference held by Kurt Yeager, president and CEO of EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). This report finds escalating demands for electricity, coupled with an outdated power delivery grid, pose a serious threat to the U.S. economy. Particularly at risk is the nation’s power delivery system, consisting of transmission lines that carry high-voltage power over vast distances, as well as distribution lines that deliver lower-voltage power to businesses and homes. The solution lies in creating new technologies and materials that will improve both power capacity and control, say the Roadmap authors. Progress is being made on these fronts with the development of silicon-based devices that improve the speed and precision of power switching and control, and with the successful testing of superconducting cables that can handle up to triple the capacity of today’s lines.

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