Quick Take: I can’t think of a time when electric power reliability has been such a mainstream issue. Even President Obama is in on it, as you’ll read below. Given the interest from policymakers and the public, I hope our industry can use this opportunity to make the case for the money we need to… Keep reading →
Cyber security, upgrading aging power infrastructure and integrating more renewables into the US energy portfolio are all high on Washington’s agenda and pressing issues for utilities, but addressing these concerns simultaneously is a major challenge Modernizing and protecting the often archaic US power grid is a massive – and expensive – undertaking, but if legacy… Keep reading →
A miniature version of this scenario took place earlier this week in Silicon Valley. It prompts me to remind utilities not to let the current emphasis on cybersecurity cause them to overlook the very real and important issues around physical security. – Jesse Berst
Quick Take: A few years back, a friend of mine served on a Department of Homeland Security committee on infrastructure protection. They heard lots about cyber threats. But the thing that worried them the most was the “Seven Bullets Theory.” That’s the idea that a terrorist group could shut down the entire East Coast grid with just seven well-placed bullets at seven different substations.
A miniature version of this scenario took place earlier this week in Silicon Valley. It prompts me to remind utilities not to let the current emphasis on cybersecurity cause them to overlook the very real and important issues around physical security. – Jesse BerstKeep reading →
We’ve all read the cyber-attack and data breach headlines about Stuxnet, Flame, Shamoon, and most recently, Red October. Critical infrastructure cyber attacks were even a focus of the President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Organizations that operate critical infrastructure – including oil and gas companies, utilities, nuclear facilities, and more – is well aware it’s under attack. The problem right now is that many of these organizations are struggling to figure out how the protect themselves from potentially devastating attacks. Keep reading →
The nation got a wakeup call recently when the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its Report Card for America’s infrastructure. Listed among the failing grades for roads, bridges and ports, was a grim evaluation of our energy infrastructure.
Giving it a grade of D+, the Report Card detailed the need for investment throughout the nation’s electricity system, but focused primarily on the aging electric grid. The nation’s power grid, which consists of a system of interconnected power plants, transmission and distribution facilities, some of which date back to the 1880s, is in dire need of repair. Keep reading →
Power markets have always been a complex proposition, perhaps especially so in the places where they could do the most good. How to price the creation and delivery of a commodity that can’t be stored, is technologically complex to ship and often dirty to create where it isn’t unreliable?
Transmission is the central component of the traditional power market. The lines and towers are the only thing that can make power flow from lower priced areas to higher priced areas, and as part of managing access the administrators of these markets have begun to charge for Congestion Revenue Rights. In California, those CRRs have become a major market, with banks, trading houses and power marketing firms all getting in on the action since trading began in 2009. Keep reading →
One of the biggest ignored threats to the power sector – and to electricity delivery to homes and businesses across much of the country’s most populated regions – is from a lack of natural gas pipeline capacity. A former federal regulator is warning that this issue, arcane at first glance, could prompt market failure and a crisis of reliability for some generators.
The free market is a funny thing; it works only over time and often in socially unpopular ways. The energy market in the US has been regulated, de-regulated and re-regulated over its history, but all market participants are operating in the context of rules set up to balance policy priorities and operating realities. Keep reading →
As a scientist with one eye squarely on the environment and the other on people, I’m proud that, for the last six years, I’ve helped to lead the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and its diverse array of members to help the public make decisions about nuclear energy and America’s energy future based on facts.
As I step down as co-chair of CASEnergy Coalition following a busy, fulfilling six years, I feel fortunate that, along with my co-chair and friend Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, we’ve made a lot of progress Keep reading →