The report titled ‘Grid in Peril: The Problem Statement,’ released by the nonpartisan policy organisation Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), outlines significant risks faced by the US electrical power grid. The document emphasises the challenges arising from a growing electricity demand, the transition to sustainable energy sources, and the looming threats of extreme weather events, cyberattacks, and physical assaults. These vulnerabilities have transformed sporadic power failures into alarmingly common occurrences across US cities. The report stresses the urgent need for action, highlighting the importance of strategic coordination between public regulators and private sector providers to ensure a reliable, resilient, and affordable power grid.
To address these challenges and enhance grid reliability, the report proposes expanding the nation’s transmission system, particularly by increasing load transfer capabilities between different transmission planning regions. It underscores the necessity of timely infrastructure development, streamlined permitting processes, and enhanced interregional transfer capabilities to minimise disruptions and blackouts caused by unforeseen events. It emphasises that failure to act promptly could lead to an increase in the frequency, cost, and lethality of these events, thereby jeopardising larger energy transition and infrastructure goals, as well as national security.
SAFE’s report serves as the initial instalment in a series of publications to discuss policies to enhance the security, sustainability, and affordability of the US power grid. The document emphasises the need for a fresh dialogue between government and industry, based on a candid assessment of challenges and opportunities. By actively engaging with state and federal regulators, the report advocates for concrete policy actions to ensure a more secure, reliable, and sustainable power grid, vital for the nation’s economic and transportation systems as they become increasingly electrified.
For more details, the report can be accessed here.