Back in 2004, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published an oft-cited report that said power outages cost the US$80 billion every year. The number could be more or less now; as utilities have worked to improve reliability with smart grid technologies and automation. But S&C Vice President MIke Edmonds writes that momentum to improve power reliability has waned since 2003, with periodic spikes in interest following major storm-related power outages.

Edmonds says that to reduce the cost of power outages, we need a sustained commitment to improve the reliability of our electrical infrastructure, rather than sporadic bursts of activity following significant power disruptions.

In fact, the urgency to make such a commitment is growing. Our electrical infrastructure is aging, which makes it more vulnerable to equipment malfunction and associated power disruptions. Many experts expect we’ll see an increase in storms and heat waves, which will further impact power reliability. Furthermore, the grid also faces the challenge of technological obsolescence, as it was not built to handle new technologies like electric vehicles or renewable energy resources....(Grid Talk, S&C Electric Co's Corporate Blog)