Fortifying the nation’s electricity grid against physical or cyberattacks should be factored into the design of any national clean-energy smart grid. Hardening the grid to attack by terrorist groups should be a top priority and prime justification for additional investments.
So too should using technology to better manage electricity flows and make a more adaptive and self-healing electricity grid that can respond to both natural and manmade disruptions. Issues of security must be addressed within any multistate planning process and in the technology and design choices made during implementation.
The security of the national grid system can be directly enhanced through the implementation of many smart-grid features, and through improved monitoring and enhanced management and operations. Moreover, specific dedicated investments in improving the security and resilience of the grid may be justified, including in places burying lines, or choosing more costly technology than market conditions alone would otherwise indicate. These security enhancements may prove to be a public purpose worthy of additional direct federal investment or the creation of federal incentives to promote private investment in this area.
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