March 2, 2010
Once upon a time in the 1950’s, TV’s Sergeant Joe Friday, a dedicated Los Angeles detective used this phrase on Dragnet. So, here are a few facts:
· The U.S. population was estimated to be 226 Million in 1980.
· The census takers are off to work again, and the 2010 results are estimated to be around 315 Million.
In 1980 Sergeant Friday would have asked: how many cell phones do you have? What about VCRs or DVD players? How many computers do you own? How many TVs? Ma’am, do you have Wi-Fi, or an iPod? The answer to all of these questions was probably one—-undoubtedly for the family VCR.
While census takers will not ask homeowners this question, I will: where’s all the juice going to come from to feed these electronic devices?
Do you remember August 14, 2003? It was the night the lights went out in the Northeast. It pointed out the weakness in the grid, and it can happen again. Even beyond the technology problems related with the blackout, one of the real causes was that trees interfered with the grid and they needed to be trimmed. Yes, trees!
Ardour Capital Investments, LLC is a research and investment banking firm focused entirely on Energy Technology, Alternative Energy & Power and Clean & Renewable Technologies. They publish reports that describe and explain relevant technologies and related markets, including a recent report that addresses concerns about the U.S. power grid.
Click on the link from Ardour, which discusses the need for a transmission grid upgrade. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27717401?secret_password=2e4d0lq3rcsx4jgug6p3
It discusses the “smart grid” and “grid intelligence.” For those not familiar, those terms don’t refer to football players.
In short: the US infrastructure is old, consumer demand for power is growing and we need a major upgrade of our transmission system, or we’ll face another August 2003!
Now think ahead to 2020 – there will be more phones, more laptops, and who knows what else. The population has grown nearly 40% since 1980. What about the grid?
If a few aging pine or maple trees have already shut down the system, it’s time for an upgrade. And, a few more trimmers.