As the “make electricity here, use it here” philosophy takes hold, many trend-watchers are focused on microgrids.
But supergrids are attracting attention too. The MIT Technology Review, named them one of its “10 Breakthrough Technologies,” because of their ability to utilize high-voltage direct current power lines to carry electricity much further than AC power cables can.
“ARPA-E: The First Seven Years,” an extensive new 135-page report from the U.S Department of Energy, offers a comprehensive overview of the U.S. Government’s many programs to enrich the efficiency of our nation’s power grid.
We all know stories about little characters who beat bigger ones. David beat Goliath. In a famous children’s book, a “Little Engine That Could” climbed a high mountain when bigger locomotives refused to try. The slow-moving tortoise outsmarted the faster, more powerful hare . . . and the list of stories where the little guy or gal wins could go on and on.
“13 Years After Northeast Blackout, U.S. Power Grid Remains Vulnerable,” an article by Karen Weigert in the August 17thWall Street Journal, spells out some sobering reasons why the American power grid is still susceptible to catastrophic failure.
“How Florida and Colorado Are Trying to Build Smart Cities from the Ground Up,” an article that Matthew Wheeland wrote for The Guardian on August 9, offers some tantalizing insights into microgrid- enhanced smart cities that are being built in Florida and Colorado.
When you boil it down to the basics, every domestic consumer in America who installs a backup electrical generator is already making use of a microgrid to protect his or her home from the dangers of electrical outages.