Upgrade America’s 19th-Century Electric Grid

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The U.S. electrical system is inefficient and vulnerable to natural and man-made threats—from severe weather and solar storms to cyber and electromagnetic attacks. To stay competitive in the 21st century, the U.S. should upgrade its system before it’s too late.

What is commonly known as “the grid”—consisting mostly of aboveground transmission wires—is actually a patchwork of three regional networks that share few interconnections. Periods of high demand, such as a prolonged heat wave, can trigger regional imbalances in electricity…



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