Why The U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered

There are 3200 utilities that make up the nation’s electrical grid — burning mostly fossil fuels in centralized stations and distributing power over 2.7 million power lines. It’s a distribution model that hasn’t changed much since Edison invented the light bulb.

Today the system is being undermined by a confluence of green energy and computer technology, deregulation, cheap natural gas and political pressure that poses a threat to the existing utility network. Rooftop solar, for example, is turning thousands of businesses and households into power producers as small fry sell their electricity into the grid.

Some industry skeptics are comparing the trend to what happened to America’s airlines in the 70’s and telecommunications companies in the 8o’s. They say no less than the stability of the grid is at stake.

Read about the threats to the power grid in Business Week...