Why ObamaGrid may be bad news for the electric power industry

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: The Obama Administration has issued a report calling for increased spending on the nation's electric power system. It asserts that modernizing and hardening the grid will save the economy "billions of dollars and reduce the hardship experienced by millions of Americans when extreme weather strikes."

 

In normal times, a presidential call-to-action would be a godsend to an industry. But in these hyper-partisan days, anything the President recommends is immediately castigated as a government boondoggle by his opponents.

 

We've already seen with consumer backlash against smart meters that our industry's hold on public sentiment is fragile. Will this report now convince a certain segment that "smart grid" is nothing but a conspiracy to suck away ratepayer dollars? Will ObamaGrid soon be lumped with ObamaCare in some minds?

 

If so, this otherwise positive development could backfire and actually make it harder to accomplish the necessary grid upgrades.

 

Read the press release and use the Talk Back form to share your views. And you can click the link below to download the full report. - By Jesse Berst

 

Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages

 

August 12, 2013 – Washington – In June 2011, President Obama released A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid which set out a four-pillared strategy for modernizing the electric grid. The initiative directed billions of dollars toward investments in 21st century smart grid technologies focused at increasing the grid’s efficiency, reliability, and resilience, and making it less vulnerable to weather-related outages and reducing the time it takes to restore power after an outage occurs.

 

Grid resilience is increasingly important as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of severe weather. Greenhouse gas emissions are elevating air and water temperatures around the world. Scientific research predicts more severe hurricanes, winter storms, heat waves, floods and other extreme weather events being among the changes in climate induced by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses.