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The basic functions of American society and economy are reliant upon uninterrupted access to electricity to an unprecedented degree. Meanwhile, requirements for systems that safeguard power reliability and quality have become more complex amid sweeping changes in the electricity sector itself.
This paper focuses on three pressing areas where advancing solutions to bolster grid resilience will depend on electricity policies that keep pace with technology and markets:
Energy Storage. The present U.S. power grid lacks any large-scale electricity storage capacity, but new advances in technology suggest that its addition could represent a valuable strategy to manage peak demand, smooth volatility from renewable energy sources, and avoid damaging disruptions.
Microgrids. New microgrid initiatives in a number of states promise the ability to maintain power to critical entities during power-loss incidents, as well as integrating multiple energy sources, including renewables.
Cybersecurity. Potentially the most dangerous, but least understood, threats to the nation’s power grid come from largely unknown actors with increasingly sophisticated methods.
The paper concludes with a discussion of ten specific, imminent challenges for decisionmakers seeking to implement public policies to support critical advances in each of these areas
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