The US power grid is not ready for the future. For starters, there is no national grid. Instead, the western, eastern and Texas grids operate largely independent of one another. The system is diffuse, often absent or lacking where it is needed most, and showing its age. The US Department of Energy (DOE) says 70% of the US’s transmission lines and power transformers are more than 25 years old.
The Biden administration is aware of these failings. “We know that supporting our increasing demand while meeting our clean energy goals will require expanding the existing grid,” says Michelle Manary, acting deputy assistant secretary at DOE’s Office of Electricity. Manary is the point person for the administration’s Building a Better Grid Initiative.