There is no doubt that nation’s aging power grid is vulnerable at its best and doomed for a catastrophe at its worst. Powerful natural disasters and terrorist activities are two of the largest threats to an already vulnerable power grid.
The Challenges of Setting the Wheels in Motion
Experts say that it is no longer a matter of if the power grid will, at some point, collapse, resulting in major, long-term power outages; it is a matter of when. The problems with the nation’s power grid can be resolved, but doing so will require policy changes at the government’s top levels and an ability to understand the industry as a group, not in segments. In other words, it will takes massive changes in policy and technology before the nation can expect to see problems with the power grid resolved.
Resolutions in the Making
However, some states have begun addressing the power grid problems, like Colorado, who is implementing efforts to prevent or mitigate major power grid meltdowns. Engineers at Colorado’s Fort Carson and the U.S. Northern Command are now working on SPIDERS, a mini-electric grid backup that would be used for mission-critical structures in the event of a major grid collapse.
Other activities are underway, as well. Canada, the United States and Mexico recently took part in an emergency drill that simulated terrorist and cyber-attacks on power grids. This drill, the largest ever of its kind, included the participation of more than 150 organizations, companies and business executives, as well as a key group of antiterrorism experts, utility employees, and government officials.
Los Angeles Major Eric Garcetti also recently initiated the creation of a Cyber Intrusion Command Center, which will be designed to help protect the city’s computerized infrastructure from cyber-attacks and hacking attempts.
Garcetti said that the center will provide cyber security for the city’s basic services, all of which are at the core of the city government. The significance of protecting the city’s critical infrastructure and other top targets, said Garcetti, cannot be overemphasized.