According to energy security watchdog, SAFE, the outdated electrical grid in the US is ill-prepared to meet the growing demands of renewable energy and the increasing threats posed by extreme weather events and cyberattacks. The Grid Security Project by SAFE reveals that blackouts and shortages are becoming more common, and without updates to both policy and infrastructure, these issues are likely to worsen. Events like the 2021 power crisis in Texas, where millions were left without electricity during a winter storm, and a 2022 shooting at a North Carolina substation resulting in outages for over 40,000 people, are cited as examples of the escalating problem. The report also highlights past cyberattacks on power grids abroad as potential threats the US grid may face.
Thomas Coleman, the executive director of SAFE’s Grid Security Project, warns that a combination of extreme weather events, cyber espionage, domestic terror attacks, and an increasing demand on aging infrastructure has transformed occasional power failures into alarmingly frequent occurrences across US cities. As the nation rapidly transitions away from fossil fuels, the strains on the grid are expected to escalate further. The rise in electric vehicle adoption, coupled with limited capacity in delivering energy from renewable sources like wind and solar to densely populated areas, will pose additional challenges. The existing infrastructure simply cannot keep up with the growing energy generation and transmission needs.
In conclusion, according to SAFE, the outdated infrastructure on which previous generations relied is increasingly inadequate to support the modern economy. Urgent and comprehensive updates to the grid are necessary to address these vulnerabilities and ensure a secure energy transition.