The World Economic Forum is widely known for the glittering array of its high-profile attendees and more recently for its role in annually highlighting the response of global elites to the economic crisis that accelerated in 2008 and has played out in the euro crisis and grinding developed-economy recessions since.

Issues of national security, of globalization and of the role of business in increasingly transparent societies have been raised but have attracted less attention; this year, attendees say, that is likely to change. Keep reading →

After Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Atlantic shoreline, my 88-year-old mother-in-law sat in her New Jersey home, unwilling to leave her things, for over a week with no electricity. Another friend of mine spent that same week waiting in gas lines to refill a generator and keep his brother’s small business going. These two examples don’t even include the truly unfortunate folks who completely lost their homes and businesses; they just lost their electric power.

There has been quite a bit of buzz about whether the “smart grid” and associated technologies and applications actually helped in the Sandy recovery efforts. They may have but I think we can do better. Keep reading →

Some US utilities could have weathered Hurricane Sandy better than they did if they had invested in smart grid improvements such as smart-metering, outage management, and distribution management systems, a senior GE official said.

John McDonald, Director of Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE Digital Energy, said utilities that have not yet installed the technology would have known about outages more quickly, been able to swiftly identify their locations, and been able to assign repair crews more efficiently if they had the enhancements in place. Keep reading →

It was stunning to see just how fast Sandy shut down the northeast’s electrical systems, leaving people powerless in more ways than one. The storm’s flip of a switch effect was because our electrical generating systems are so centralized.

Not one to mince words, Governor Cuomo called New York’s electrical system “archaic and obsolete.” “The utility system we have was designed for a different time and for a different place,” he said, it “is a 1950s system. We’re going to have to look at a ground up redesign.” Keep reading →

Long Island Power Authority, which at one point had 1.1 million customers without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, said Wednesday it is close to restoring power to the last 8,000 homes and businesses that can receive power – more than two weeks after the hurricane ravaged the East Coast leaving more than 8 million customers in 21 states in the dark.

But there remain some 38,000 customers in the areas of Long Island that flooded whose homes and businesses need to be checked and/or repaired before they can have their service restored. Consolidated Edison and New Jersey Central Power and Light also have thousands of customers in a similar predicament, according to CNBC. Keep reading →

Hurricane Sandy left over eight million people along the East Coast without power. More than a week later, nearly two million are still in the dark. With a warming planet, it’s likely there will be more Sandy-strength storms in the years to come. At a press conference last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the city needs to “not only rebuild, but rebuild stronger and smarter.”
So how should the nation prepare? Weather isn’t the only reason to update the grid. Power outages cost the nation between $80 billion and $180 billion each year, according to research by Massoud Amin, a senior member of Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. And they’re getting worse. The number of major outages has doubled in the last 10 years.

Hurricanes often cause flooding & power outages. Here is how you can prepare for whatever #Sandy throws your way fema