The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Last year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.
There are two types of currents that can be used when transmitting electricity: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). The electric grid developed around AC power because it was easier to manipulate and transport efficiently given technological limitations with DC transformers that persisted until the 1980s. Technological advancements have now made high-voltage DC (HVDC) lines a viable option for efficiently transporting power over long distances.