Congress briefed on smart energy infrastructure to shore up national power grid

Electric power industry executives with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have co-sponsored a congressional briefing with GridWise Alliance in connection with the Grid Innovation Caucus to discuss why it is important to modernize the power grid that sustains U.S. critical infrastructure.

“Now is the time to invest in modern electrical and energy systems to make our nation’s energy infrastructure safer, more reliable, and highly efficient. By incorporating the latest innovations such as energy storage, smart meters, microgrids, and advanced transmission technologies, we can modernize our grid while simultaneously creating valuable manufacturing jobs,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff.

“Together with the GridWise Alliance, and with the support of the Congressional Grid Innovation Caucus’ Co-Chairs, Congressmen Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Jerry McNerney (D-California), we will continue highlighting the importance of emerging technologies, as well as identify key steps that Congress should take to help modernize our critical infrastructure. For instance, Congress should enact policies to streamline the process for planning, permitting, and construction,” Cosgriff added.

Marc Lemmond of IBM and Anne Vogel of American Electric Power joined Patrick Hughes of NEMA to talk about how important it is to modernize grid technologies and optimize the grid’s performance as it pertains to the role electric infrastructure plays in revamping all U.S. infrastructure. [source]

Analysis: President Trump has said he wants to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure reinvestment package this year that would, among other things, improve and modernize the power grid, as well as harden it against cyber attacks as the world becomes more dangerous and less predictable. Power industry groups in this particular setting were essentially lobbying for funding for American power developers, but the issue is of critical importance to U.S. stability; if an adversary were to destroy a large portion of the U.S. power grid, chaos would ensue, death rates would sore, and the civil society would collapse. 

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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