The Implications of Solar Disruptions to the Electrical Grid

In an article on EnergyBiz, Ken Silverstein talks about the potential damage to the electrical grid from recent solar activity and the possible negative effects on the economy. There is another reason electric utilities should take this threat seriously: as Silverstein notes, long-distance transmission lines and the various switching stations needed to bring power from a far-off generating site to our homes and businesses are particularly vulnerable to the periodic massive energy bursts from the sun. If those bursts do indeed cause disruption to our electrical system, it will add fuel to the growing argument that local generation – wind, solar, etc. – should be given priority over the current electrical grid. The long-term implications to utility companies should not be underestimated and can be understood ahead of time using a process like the Implications Wheel.

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