An Energy Grid with a Mind of Its Own

The United States’ energy grid needs immediate attention and the federal government’s Quadrennial Energy Review can help if carried out correctly, says Alan Snook, president of Grid20/20, which makes sensors and software to monitor the grid.

In 2015, the Obama Administration released the first part of its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and also allocated $72 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture loans for smart grid and solar projects in rural areas.

“The grid has obvious problems that need support on the federal level,” says Snook. “We’ll deal with it now or later. The cost is higher and risks are greater if done later. Kicking the can is a bad idea.”

The QER focuses on modernizing the grid, expanding energy storage, and promoting interoperability with grid technology. The report looks at transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure that the administration defines as: “The networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system.”

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By Mounica Raj Tata
Mounica Raj Tata Graduate Career Ambassador