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Posts Tagged ‘Electricity Grid’

Investing in the Grid: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough get … Creative

August 2nd, 2012

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The unexpected storms that knocked out power to millions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic earlier this 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. The inefficiency of our old-fashioned grid also leads to enormous waste through “line loss.” In 2010, 6.6% of the electricity generated in the U.S. simply disappeared before it could reach consumers. That’s $25.7 billion worth of electrons, lost into thin air. Read the rest of this entry »

Break Down Bureaucracy to Get Breakthrough Technologies

March 4th, 2011

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Washington policy wonks scoffed when the Obama Administration announced last year that the Department of Energy and Pentagon were going to collaborate in developing new clean energy technologies. They thought such a shot-gun marriage was impractical and  impossible to even get off the ground. Instead, it is proving to be model for the kind of culture of cooperation between government agencies that we desperately need if we are going to move to clean energy to save money, create new jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

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