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In the U.S. alone, disruptions to power supply are estimated to result in loses of $80 billion annually (Commare & Eto 2009).

Overview

Modernizing the transmission and distribution infrastructure globally is a key challenge faced by the utilities industry. The traditional paradigm of centralized generation and widespread transmission is being challenged by a range of solutions that allow consumers to have more choices in how they purchase and to also generate their own. Utilities are rethinking their business models to look at people as not just consumers of electricity, but also suppliers whose home renewable energy systems feed back into the grid.

Opportunities

Improvements in transmission and distribution efficiency can greatly reduce the need for incremental growth in demand, thereby also reducing load shedding, which in some countries can be as high as 40%. Many governments now realize that upgrades to transmission and distribution infrastructure are also necessary for security reasons, as the current system is particularly vulnerable to both physical and cyber attacks.

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Carbon War Room in association with Elsevier Biofuel TechSelect Go to the Carbon War Room website