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Electricity Grid Resilience

GAO-21-105403 Published: Sep 20, 2021. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2021.
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Fast Facts

The nation's grid delivers electricity that is essential for our modern life.

However, risks such as extreme weather, cyberattacks, and electromagnetic events like solar storms can damage our electrical infrastructure (like power lines) and communications systems. The resulting power outages can threaten the nation's economic and national security.

With examples drawn from several GAO reports, we describe these risks and highlight key opportunities to improve federal efforts in this area.

Electrical towers and wires

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This brief draws from a number of GAO reports to provide examples of the multiple risks facing the electricity grid. It also identifies opportunities for the federal government to improve its efforts to enhance grid resilience.

For more information, contact Frank Rusco at 202-512-3841 or

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ClimateCritical infrastructureCybersecurityElectric utilitiesElectricityElectricity demand-responseElectricity gridsEmergency managementEnergy supplyExtreme weatherNatural resources