Buckminster Fuller stated
that society often evolves from "emergence through emergency". We go along
with business as usual, then there=
s a breakdown in the system and our leaders refocus on what=
s needed to make the fix. Our transmission grid system is a perfect example.
The recent blackouts in the Northeastern United States, London and Italy
have caused policy-makers, regulators and utility executives to take notice.
We expect the lights to go on when we flip the switch, and businesses
do lose money for every minute the power remains off.
is the "highway" that delivers the electrons from power generators
to our cities and industry. The grid is one of the largest interconnected
machines on our planet, and we expect it to provide service 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, year-round. Utility system operators' prime criteria
is to provide reliability (24/7) of service and stability of frequency
(60 Hertz or 50 Hertz) so the lights don't flicker and computers won't
Now, the utilities
and regulators are putting attention and money back into the electric
grid. In the last few years, the uncertainty of deregulation and privatization
made long-range planning nearly impossible for utilities. However, a blackout
and the subsequent investigation has made the energy grid a high priority
for investment. NIMBYism (not in my backyard) will always make the siting
of new lines difficult, but adequate transmission is often an issue of
"the greater good" for society.
You have supported this
work for some time, and I thank you. What I learned about the energy business
is that nothing happens quickly. The project planning, feasibility studies,
massive investments and payback time frames cover many decades. The GENI
Initiative is a marathon getting our policymakers and utilities
to accelerate the interconnection of renewable resources as quickly as
possible. We are seeing the shift.
with your dollars by contributing to the sustainability of our planet.