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The GENI-us Letter

The power grid gets attention from utilities and investors

Dear GENI Friend,

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.

High-voltage transmission 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 crash.

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.

Please vote with your dollars by contributing to the sustainability of our planet.

In partnership for the planet,

Peter Meisen


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The Global Energy Network Institute focuses on the interconnection of electric power networks between nations and continents, with an emphasis on tapping abundant renewable energy resources. This strategy is the highest priority of the World Game simulation developed by Dr. Buckminster Fuller three decades ago.

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