The State of the U.S. Power Grid

Mar 29, 2021Solar, Uncategorized

It goes without saying that electricity is a major part of everyday life in America. This has remained unchanged since 1900, and will likely forever be a part of our lives. Because of the inevitability of such a thing, it’s common for the average American to not put much thought into it all. Clearly, the widespread usage of electricity is a necessity in our day and age, so what good would it do to question the power companies that supply it every month, and the nationwide electrical grid that transports it? As we’re beginning to see more and more in the past decade, this particular grid may not be as stable—or as safe—as we’d hoped.

The major questions began in 2009, with a report from the Wall Street Journal detailing a cyberinfiltration of the American power grid from anonymous Chinese and Russian sources. Whether these attacks were a product of mischievous independent hackers or a much more malicious warfare preparation is unknown, though if it’s the latter, we may learn soon enough. In the situation of malicious foreign software finding its way into our electrical grid, we may find ourselves at a loss for electricity when we need it most. Of course, even without the threat of warring nations at America’s heels, our grid isn’t entirely safe. It only takes one incident, such as an unfortunate solar flare or, as we saw recently in the 2021 Texas Power Crisis, even simply poor temperature regulation, to leave millions without electricity and at the mercy of the elements. In this year already, hundreds have died due to poor management of America’s electrical grid.
To combat this, the nation has begun to slowly transition towards adding incentives for citizens to consider solar energy. It’s only natural– solar energy is an efficient, compact, personalized source of electricity that can essentially suit any home. However, many find themselves not quite ready to fully commit to living off-grid with solar, and it’s an understandable concern. For those individuals, it’s often suggested that a solar generator may be just what they need. With a simple, small, and most importantly cost-effective array of panels, any homeowner can utilize a backup solar generator to keep key appliances in their home running should the need for spare electricity arise. A solar generator has no reliance on the grid, meaning that even if the entire nation is out of power, those with a generator on-hand will be able to supply it for themselves through only the power of the sun. For the utility they provide, solar generators are a fantastic stepping stone into the world of solar, and will certainly supply energy for their owners in the dire situations in which they need it most.