The Obama administration is calling for more investment in the electric grid to reduce system disruptions caused by increasingly severe weather due to climate change.
Released on Aug. 12, the report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the U.S. Dept. of Energy does not specify how much should be invested, but notes that, between 2003 and 2012, weather-related outages cost the U.S. economy an estimated $16 billion to $33 billion.
Some of the strategies for modernizing the grid outlined in the report include working with utilities to harden their infrastructure against flood and wind damage, increasing the overall flexibility and robustness of the grid, and supporting newer technologies that can alert utilities when power outages or system disruptions occur and automatically reroute power to avoid further outages.
Although the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $4.5 billion to DOE for investments in modern grid technology, more investments are needed, the report concludes.