Grading Our Power Grid—It Gets a D+
The idea of a power grid collapse sounds outlandish … the stuff of movie plots. Something that will never happen to us.
But government agencies are worried. They’re concerned that a widespread grid collapse is likely.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says we all have good cause to be worried.
When Janet Napolitano stepped down as Director of Homeland Security in August 2013, she didn’t mince words. In her parting speech she warned that a major breakdown of the power grid was all but inevitable. Given the ailing state of the grid, a coordinated cyber attack or even a natural disaster could topple the system entirely.
Some government officials tout smart grid technology—a major privacy violation—as the answer to our infrastructure problems. But a smart grid may put us at higher risk of a cyber attack.
The sad truth is our power grid is not ready for an attack of any kind. The ASCE gives the grid a D+ grade. What does that mean? In the words of the ASCE, the grid is in “poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life.”
Put simply, the power grid is just barely limping along to meet our average daily demands. It won’t take much to push our D+ rated power grid into complete F-rated failure.
Life After the Collapse
One of the things I’m often asked is what would the world really look like if a nationwide power failure was to occur. That’s a great question … and not an easy one to answer.
An event like that would affect us on every level. Our economy—down to basic financial transactions—is reliant on power. Gas pumps need power. Water treatment facilities need power. Manufacturing … power. Transportation … power.
Major regional power outages often take a week or more to restore. A bigger failure could trigger a cascade effect, bringing down more and more of the grid. That kind of collapse would take months to fix.
Our entire economy would change. The casualties would be high.
But within weeks, if not days, industrious individuals would begin finding ways to do business within the new system. Everything would be different… the way you cook your food, the way you clean your cloths, the way you get supplies, the way you travel. It will be much harder than our current way of life, but life—and the economy—will carry on.
That’s the mindset that you need to get into.
If you adapt, recognize a need within your community, and find a way to fulfill it, you’ll be back on your feet sooner than you might think.
Profiting Before the Grid Comes Down
Even with such dire predictions, policies coming out of the White House are hostile to the energy sector. You should expect them to remain so. Besides driving up the cost of coal and oil, these policies may put a further burden on our struggling power grid.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules that aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030. This reduction in emissions will require greater reliance on alternative energy sources like solar power. But these types of sources don’t produce a consistent flow of power the way that fossil fuels do. Integrating solar and wind power is introducing more instability into the grid.
There is one possible bright side to all this.
Some investors see the potential to profit from these circumstances. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has gradually been moving into the energy sector over the last 15 years. In a recent move, Mr. Buffett invested $15 billion into the renewable energy sector. His chosen strategy is to purchase entire solar or wind energy companies.
That’s not a practical strategy for most people, but you can still follow his lead. Renewable energy YieldCos distribute the cash flow from owned and operating renewable energy assets as dividends. They give you an opportunity to profit from alternative energy production without having to buy a solar or wind farm. They’ve performed well in the last year, so they’re worth looking in to.
The current state of our power grid, combined with the misguided energy policies of our government could drive prices in this sector up, giving you a chance to profit before the grid comes tumbling down.
P.S. Our decrepit electrical grid is nearing Third World status. Decades of due to regulatory overkill and legal hassles have made normal upgrades impossible. And now we’re paying the price. Government officials warn that the grid is fragile … it won’t take much to trigger its failure. Are you ready to deal with that kind of crisis? I want to tell you about a secret device that lets you and your family side-step this newest government-created mess and their growing plans to micromanage everyone’s home power use. Get the full story, here.