The US electrical grid is ill-equipped to handle the growing demand for renewable energy and the increasing threats of extreme weather and cyberattacks, warns energy security watchdog, SAFE. The Grid Security Project by SAFE reveals that blackouts and shortages are becoming more frequent, and without policy and infrastructure updates, these issues will only worsen. The report cites notorious events such as the devastating 2021 power crisis in Texas and a shooting at a North Carolina substation in 2022 as examples of the growing vulnerability of the grid. Cyberattacks on Ukraine’s power grid in 2015 also serve as a reminder of the potential risks faced by the US grid.
Thomas Coleman, executive director of SAFE’s Grid Security Project, highlights that a combination of extreme weather, cyber espionage, domestic terrorism, and aging infrastructure is transforming occasional power failures into alarmingly common occurrences across US cities. The rapid transition away from fossil fuels, particularly with the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, further strains the limited capacity of the current grid to handle energy generation and transmission from renewable sources like wind and solar.
SAFE emphasizes that the existing infrastructure, which was relied upon by previous generations, is no longer sufficient to support the demands of today’s modern economy. Urgent updates to the grid are needed to ensure a secure energy transition and reliable energy delivery to populated areas.