Energy grid becoming a major concern for many countriesAugust 6, 2012
Indian power outage highlights the dangers of an outdated energy grid
Early last week, a catastrophic power outage struck India. The outage is the largest the country has experienced in its existence, affecting more than 600 million people. The country’s electricity grid collapsed due to as yet unknown causes. The matter is currently under investigation, but it has served to highlight the potential dangers of an outdated energy grid. With millions having no access to electricity, the incident may encourage other countries to upgrade their energy grids to avoid the problems that India is currently facing.
Alternative energy may not be a viable option without a smart grid
More countries around the world are beginning to focus on adopting alternative energy. These countries have shown a greater level of interest in alternative energy because of its economic potential. By drawing power from renewable sources, countries would no longer have to rely on foreign fuels or get tangled in the complicated world of energy trading. Without a modern energy grid, often called a “smart” grid, the use of alternative energy may never be viable.
Updating an energy grid could be a costly endeavor
Most of the world’s various energy infrastructures are designed to be used by electricity generated through the burning of fossil-fuel. While the electricity that fossil-fuels and alternative energy systems produce is essentially the same, both methods of energy production accomplish their tasks very differently. As such, it has proven difficult for countries to incorporate alternative energy systems into their existing energy grid. Updating a nation’s energy grid can be difficult, but the issue has become so problematic due to the costs associated with the work.
U.S. has plans in motion to update its grid over the next 20 years
In the U.S., establishing a comprehensive smart grid could cost as much as $2 trillion. Federal lawmakers have shown mild interest in investigating how to make upgrades to the country’s energy grid more affordably, but these efforts have been sidetracked by other political endeavors. There is already an ambitious plan in place, however, which aims to revolutionize the U.S. energy grid. This plan tasks makers of high-tech batteries to provide technology to the government over the next 20 years. This technology will play a significant role in updating the energy grid.
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