In the U.S., electricity transmission networks move large amounts of power through regional power grids. Recent innovations in transmission technology called high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology offer several important benefits over current technologies, including lower losses of power over distances, increased capacity, and lower costs. In addition to these benefits, here are the top 5 reasons why it is time to invest in our energy infrastructure.
5. Access to renewable sources of energy
HVDC technology enables cost-effective development of wind and solar power in offshore or remote locations, far from the energy source. By expanding HDVC transmission capacity, up to 20 percent of the U.S. could gain access to wind power.
4. Lower costs – for providers and consumers
HVDC transmission has significantly lower costs than comparable systems. Additionally, HVDC systems require less land than competing technologies, which reduces the cost of transmission projects. Upgraded systems also allow for the collection of data to help with demand response and to enable consumers to reduce their energy consumption and their bills.
3. Keeping the lights on during natural disasters
Making investments in smart grid systems can help utility companies keep the lights on during a natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy. Distribution automation and smart meters are two such technologies that can help identify outages more quickly or minimize their spread.
As the President highlighted in his State of the Union address, America’s aging infrastructure – including energy infrastructure like our electrical grid – is sorely in need of repair. Countries that invest in critical infrastructure create an environment that is attractive to businesses. And investing in our infrastructure will encourage companies to bring their businesses and their jobs here.
1. The Super Bowl
During the biggest sporting event of the year, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome lost power for over a half hour. But an improved and updated energy grid could have prevented the interruption entirely, and that is reason enough to invest in an energy infrastructure that is suited to meet the demands of today’s energy needs.