A hurricane is about to come ashore, a hacker is up to no good, or there is a wildland fire nearby….will the lights stay on? The nation's electricity grid is essential to modern life. We expect the grid to be resilient—to adapt to changing conditions, withstand disruptive events, and recover rapidly. Though most of the electricity grid is owned and operated by private industry, the federal government plays a key role in developing resilience in the grid. Today’s WatchBlog looks at our reports on some of those federal resilience efforts. Solar storms, cyberattacks, and more The nation’s electricity grid faces risks from events that can damage the electrical infrastructure (such as power lines) and communications systems. These include:
- Electromagnetic events, which can result from a natural solar storm or from a man-made explosion high above the ground creating an electromagnetic pulse. These can disrupt computers and damage electronics and insulators, and can cause significant damage to critical electrical infrastructure, such as transformers.
- Cyberattacks on the grid’s computer systems and coordinated terrorist attacks on specific facilities.
- Severe natural disasters, such as hurricanes.