August 14, 2003, was a black day in the history of the United States - in many different ways.
It began as a quiet Thursday. And then crashed a single branch in Ohio, touch Canada cascaded from a blackout, in eight States and parts, to leave 50 million Americans in the northeast in the dark. Commuters were stranded. Company closed. People sweltered in the heat. And the U.S. economy took a big beating, losing an estimated $10 billion.
And they all think it began with a single branch.
What have we learned, ten years after the biggest power failure in the history of the United States? Now, are for one thing, solar energy and other renewable energy sources more important than ever when it comes to our nation energy security and grid reliability.
This week issued the Department of energy (DOE) and White House Council of economic advisors a new report highlighting the dangers of aging grid. Among the highlights report grid resilience ' to reduced interruptions are created by climate change and other factors. As an industry we look forward to working with the White House, DOE and Congress solar can use opportunities, add strength and overall long term effectiveness of the data sheet.
Today's grid is a miracle of 20th century technology. But here lies the crux of the matter: this is the 21st century - and the world together with our electrical requirements changed quickly. Today the US grid is plagued overloads equipment, an outdated distribution layout and periodic peak due to aging. It has been also heavily dependent on fossil fuels, which have made a significant contribution to climate change.
Modernization of the today's grid is a large and complex task. But challenges also great opportunities. It is time for the United States, the idea of flexible grids, to embrace that better meet our nation's current needs and takes into account the increasing use of clean, renewable energy sources such as solar energy.
The advanced use of distributed power generation from solar and wind is an important way the grid in the future make more effective and efficient. Under the energy policy Act of 2005 and the energy independence and Security Act of 2007 caused Congress to facilitate the development of a so-called "smart grid," utilities, to better predict and electricity demand allows.
But we need to develop also a flexible grid making, to move seamlessly from where it is generated where it is actually used. Additionally, a flexible grid allows ramp between renewable energy (when the conditions are favourable for their use) and hydro or gas-fired generators utilities, up and down (if conditions are not).
While several obstacles to this kind of distribution system still be elaborated – such as the integration of regional transmission networks - these problems are not insurmountable. But these questions in a comprehensive manner is important if we want to have a modern, flexible, sturdy raster American consumers and companies is better in the future.
As more and more nuclear and coal-fired plants are mothballed, America's solar energy industry makes some of the power generation capacity to compensate for in turn lost. Today, more than 30 utility-scale clean energy solar projects under construction are - both use focus solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies - contribute thousands of electricians, Steelworkers and workers, to work and also to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, setting. Along with roof solar on homes, businesses and schools, electricity for future generations created these facilities.
There are currently over 8,500 megawatts (MW) cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the United States — enough to more than 1.3 million American homes makes. What's more is, in the first quarter of 2013, nearly half of all new versorgungskapazitat added, it was solar to the grid. All amounted to, it is expected that new solar electric capacity is more than 5,300 MW this year online. In addition, innovative solar heating and cooling systems are cost effective and efficient options for meeting their energy needs while reducing their utility bills with American consumers.
Solar employs almost 120,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, of which most small businesses about the United States are distributed, so solar one of the fastest growing industries in America. Part of this amazing growth is due to the fact that the average cost of a solar system in the last two years nearly 40 percent declined.
In short, solar is of crucial importance, to do our part to combat climate change, energy and economic security of our country - and we.
The technology finally exists today future put America of on the road to clean energy. We know the way. But as a nation, we have the will? One thing is certain: we need to know not 10 years.
Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO
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