The Smart Grid and Natural Disasters

Each new large-scale natural disaster delivers its own unique cocktail of heartache and damage, but the need to modernize the electrical grid is a common denominator—growing only more glaring with each new setback. The globally emerging smart grid, of course, will not eliminate the threat of devastation, but developing aspects of the next-generation infrastructure would mitigate against the scope and span of a natural disaster’s harm.

In “The Smart Grid and Natural Disasters” at The Energy Collective, Dick DeBlasio looks at the possibilities of two of the applications enabled by a more intelligent system of two-way, interstate power and information flow—distributed generation and microgrids—in terms of reducing the number of homes and businesses cut off from power and reducing the length of outages for those who do sustain them.

In addition to his role as chair of the IEEE 2030 Working Group, Dick DeBlasio is a past member of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors and chief engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.