September 21, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), along with The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Digital Climate Alliance, GridWise Alliance and National Association of State Energy Officials sent a letter to key Members of Congress requesting action on grid modernization.
The letter, addressed to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, emphasizes the use of smart grid technologies, an increased focus on demand-side solutions, and the effective utilization of aggregated distributed resources. These methods and technologies will enable a more intelligent, communicative, and cost-effective energy landscape. The requests come a day after NEMA and GridWise welcomed hundreds of visitors to the 2023 Congressional Grid Innovation Expo and showcased member products designed to strengthen the grid.
The letter cites a Department of Energy study which estimates that power outages cost the U.S. economy $150 billion annually. The human toll of these outages was not included in the study, but the letter makes clear that continued neglect of grid updates will jeopardize Americans in terms of safety and in terms of economic impacts.
“We must keep the spotlight on grid modernization and security so that we can deliver the anticipated and unprecedented future demand” said Debra Phillips, President and CEO, NEMA. “We are grateful to our coalition partners for their support. This group spans the energy, climate and business sectors. Extreme weather, historic investment in electric vehicles, and widescale electrification are going to require us to re-think our grid. We are committed to ensuring a grid built for the future and for all Americans.”
The coalition specified four principles for modernizing and securing the grid:
- Innovation is the tip of the spear for resiliency and reliability while enhancing the country’s global economic competitiveness. Innovative products, technologies, and solutions are essential to the grid of the future.
- Permitting reform and certainty are badly needed in order to deploy innovative solutions to improve grid reliability and resiliency.
- Collaboration between a broad network of stakeholders is required to coordinate planning and execution of complex efforts to update and protect the country’s electrical systems.
- Investment in research and development, deployment, management, and maintenance is continually needed to respond to changing dynamics, increasing physical, cyber, and geopolitical threats, and to unlock the innovative solutions of tomorrow.
Finally, the letter closes by promising forthcoming specific policy recommendations that Congress can enact to help modernize and secure the grid through digitization.
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) is a coalition of companies and trade associations from the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors, and also includes investor-owned utilities, public power, independent power producers, project developers, equipment manufacturers, and environmental and energy market service providers. Established in 1992, BCSE advocates for policies that expand the use of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products, and services.
The Digital Climate Alliance (DCA) is a first-of-its-kind coalition of leading global companies with the purpose of informing public policy regarding the role digitalization can play as an enabler of climate solutions.
About The GridWise Alliance
The GridWise Alliance leads a diverse membership of electricity industry stakeholders focused on accelerating innovation that delivers a more secure, reliable, resilient, and affordable grid to support decarbonization of the US economy. Our goal is to champion the principal concepts, policies, and investments needed to transform the electricity grid and accelerate the prudent changes required to maintain the grid’s essential role in a robust economy.
NASEO is the only national non-profit association for the governor-designated energy officials from each of the 56 states and territories. Formed by the states in 1986, NASEO facilitates peer learning among state energy officials, serves as a resource for and about State Energy Offices, and advocates the interests of the State Energy Offices to Congress and federal agencies.