“Many have recognized the traditional electric grid ‘as-is’ will not be able to take us into a new age of electricity.”
The world no longer runs directly on coal, oil, gasoline, and not even on wind, solar or fuel cells. No, it runs mostly on electricity. And the one major exception, the transportation industry, is about to rapidly convert to electric.
The problem is that no matter how we generate electricity, we’re relying on a legacy hub and spoke unidirectional electrical grid to move it to where it’s needed. And that grid, on average, particularly at its edge, is increasingly unstable, under-designed, woefully outdated and incapable of taking us into a new electricity future. Even as the need for power surety and resiliency increases – the current grid is trending in the opposite direction – to increasing faults and failures. In the latter part of the 20th Century the grid averaged about 5 significant power outages per year. Presently the number of significant outages numbers in the hundreds, with dozens of them being planned shut-downs to prevent forest fires in northern California.
Running parallel to this challenging reality is the trend of increasing electricity use. With the electronic electrification of just about anything that moves or does work, including most of our transportation industry, the embedded value and capacity of the grid, which has been built up over generations, needs to be preserved and reinforced.
Adding to the challenge of capacity is the reality that most renewable energy generation, stored electricity and power electronic use is in the form of direct current or DC, not alternating current or AC, the mainstay of the current grid. Excessive conversions back and forth to AC add complexity and cost, decrease flexibility and scalability, while reducing reliability and resiliency. At EMerge, we believe there’s a better way, and it’s our intention to lead the way in showing how.