Monday, March 2, 2009

DOD and USA Need to Get Smart (Grid)

At the intersection of energy security and cyber security lies the Smart Grid. Why all the bother; you might say: "What's the matter with the current grid? Everything's been just fine where I live."

Well here are a few facts for you:
  • The DOE reports that in 2009 the average age of a substation transformer on the U.S. power grid is 42 years -- two years more than their expected life span. 
  • They also observe that "If Alexander Graham Bell were somehow transported to the 21st century, he would not begin to recognize  the components of modern telephony – cell phones, texting, cell towers, PDAs, etc. – while Thomas Edison, one of the grid’s key early architects, would be totally familiar with the grid." Jeez.
And finally, this is the kicker for me: the DSB Energy Task Force 2008 report stated: 
Military installations are almost completely dependent on a fragile and vulnerable commercial power grid, placing critical military and Homeland defense missions at an unacceptable risk of extended outage.
Sounds to me like we're long past due for a better approach and infrastructure. For more see this nicely designed, if somewhat fluffy, DOE introduction to the Smart Grid.

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