How Critical it is for the U.S. Power Supply to be Reliable?

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently called for a report on the dependability of our electricity grid to ensure it continues to provide Americans with the power they’ve come to expect.

The grid is undergoing substantial changes in order to keep pace with rising energy demand — some of the most profound changes since its inception, as a matter of fact — and the study is intended to assess “how certain policies are affecting, and potentially putting at risk, energy security and reliability.”

A dependable electrical grid is essential across all industries, but especially for manufacturing and fuel production.

The significant changes in how the U.S. generates its power is greatly tied to the Marcellus shale gas boom within the past ten years. The affordable, plentiful supply of natural gas from the shale formation in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York lessened U.S. dependence on imported gas and, in part, marginalized coal and nuclear power plants. The use of wind and solar power continues to rise, too.

The U.S. electricity system is a complex network of power plants, transmission and distribution wires, and electricity consumers, and ensuring it remains reliable will be no easy task. As we wait for the study to shed light on the grid’s dependability now — and in years to come — modernization efforts continue and integrate new technologies with the existing grid infrastructure.

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