Is It Time to Completely Overhaul Our Electrical Energy Grid in the US?
Indeed, a whole lot of people have been discussing the dire challenges of our crumbling infrastructure. I’ve read think tank reports for RAND, Hudson Group, Academy of Sciences, and already Public Citizen, so in other words this crosses all political lines, and it’s no secret. One of the biggest challenges we have is our electrical grid, for which we got a rude awakening in 2005 when the lights went out in the North East after a cascading blackout. Okay so, let’s talk.
Okay so, and how bad is it really and what should we do to fix it? Should we hire a company or consortium of companies to tackle this problem? What company is big enough to do it? Bechtel, GE, Boeing, who – all of them? Consider if you will the enormity of the challenge here, we are talking about the strength grid for the most powerful (literally) nation on the planet. Not long ago, I was discussing this with an acquaintance and he stated;
“Thinking from that angle, it seems like the company doing this, thinks more about the financial gain from having it done by a computer, and not having to put out as much money to the human factor, then having the consequences if something goes wrong, in mind.”
Ah, but so too does the government which will under-write the research for the “SmartGrid”. You see, in reality we need to invest about $800 Million to $1 Trillion to upgrade our insufficient energy grid, meanwhile if we do we may in addition modernize it too right? If they’d kept up the grid and spent the money fixing the transmission lines as needed, we wouldn’t need the new system anyway. It’s like this – our rail system is less than to be desired based on current technology, but it works.
Should we use to upgrade now, or wait until we have better materials for the tracks and more reliable high-speed systems? Why upgrade and use that money when things work now, and the increase in efficiency is hard to justify by the money we might use. We could easily use $500 Million on the smart grid in the US, on a non-tested system, which could fail just as the current system will fail if we keep overloading it without the need fixes and maintenance.
Increasing the complexity of a simple system is not the answer to the transmission problem, and completely re-doing the current system to a space-age system, which claims to be more reliable and efficient without proof is risky. Further, allowing politicians who are not engineers, or in the industry make decisions is insane.
There have been many rather noticeable engineers and scientists – real technocrat types – come up with various solutions, but nevertheless you know; I am concerned, unconvinced, and unamused by the concepts put forth consequently far. I would need a lot more information, not PR press-releases from academics clamoring for more funding and accolades. Trust No One, especially a human. In fact, we should have never gotten ourselves into this position in the first place – bad planning and government bureaucrats asleep at the wheel in my view. Please consider all this and think on it.