05 Aug '12, 12pm

Investing in the grid: When the going gets tough, the tough get … creative

Investing in the grid: When the going gets tough, the tough get … creative

The unexpected storms that knocked out power to millions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic last month highlighted how fragile America’s electric grid is . But while front-page photos of fallen trees and utility repair trucks capture people’s attention, there’s a much more grave and fundamental threat to our electric grid. The U.S. grid system was born in the 1920s, and has seen few major upgrades since the 1960s. With America’s growing population and exploding demand — bigger houses, A/C units, TVs, iThings — we have serious congestion and inadequate capacity on our nation’s power lines. This has led to more frequent power outages, which cost the American economy well over $100 billion each year [PDF]. The inefficiency of our old-fashioned grid also leads to enormous waste through “line loss.” In 2010, 6.6 percent [PDF] of the electricity generated in the U.S. simply disappe...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/investing-in-the-grid-whe...

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