power grid

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Solar Storm Headed Our Way

It's relatively big, but no major problems expected for power grid

(Newser) - If by chance your GPS is acting a little weird tomorrow or Saturday, this might be why: A relatively big solar storm is coming our way, reports USA Today . Scientists say no major disruptions in the power grid are expected, but satellite operators are on alert. The sun unleashed a... More »

Attack on Calif. Electric Grid Labeled Terrorism

Snipers expertly knocked out 17 transformers

(Newser) - A little-reported attack on a power substation in California last year wasn't vandalism, but the "most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the US, according former top power regulator Jon Wellinghoff. In the assault in South San Jose last April, unknown... More »

Why Pakistan Made Workers Stop Wearing Socks

Because it's hot, and the electricity grid is a hopeless mess

(Newser) - Just how bad are Pakistan's power grid problems? This bad: The government has ordered civil servants to stop wearing socks, reports Reuters . The weird order goes hand in hand with another edict that forbids government offices from turning on their air-conditioners. That makes things so unbearably hot that the... More »

US Power Co. Cyberattacked 10K Times a Month

Finding comes amid report on vulnerability of our grid

(Newser) - Could foreign hackers take out America's electric grid? A new congressional report says it's a very real threat, with more than a dozen of nearly 100 electric utilities surveyed reporting constant or frequent cyberattacks, Reuters reports. One utility said it was battered by a staggering 10,000 attacks... More »

As US Electricity Use Stalls, Utilities Scramble

Household use to expand just 0.7% per year: feds

(Newser) - Sure, you're attached at the hip to your iPad and like to crank your air conditioner, but electricity guzzling isn't what it used to be in the US. In the middle of the 20th century, electricity use grew about 8% yearly; now, it's set to expand just... More »

What the Massive Blackout Says About India

Embarrassing questions raised for country with big ambitions

(Newser) - India's power outage —among the biggest in the history of the world—is over, with the situation returning to what the power minister called "normal" by last night. But the questions are just beginning, note the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times . The blackout,... More »

600M Without Power as India's Grid Again Fails

3 grids go down amid soaring demand on taxed system

(Newser) - India's maxed-out northern power grid went down a second day today, and this time it wasn't alone. The nation's eastern and northeastern power grids failed, too, plunging more than half of all Indians into darkness in one of the biggest blackouts the globe has seen. Some 600... More »

Our Power Grid Is Way Too Vulnerable

Newt Gingrich: 'EMP' attack or natural disaster could be catastrophic

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich lost power along with countless others in the recent heat wave, and it got him thinking about one of his pet subjects: the vulnerability of the nation's power grid. A massive solar storm could inflict "doomsday-level damage," as could a terror attack. "It is... More »

Do We Need to Protect Grid From Sunstorms?

Officials clash over whether to upgrade system

(Newser) - The peak in the 11-year cycle of solar flares happens next year, but electricity regulators have made little progress in deciding how much protection the power grid needs, the Wall Street Journal finds. They are reviewing records as far back as the 1859 "superstorm," the strongest solar storm... More »

Scientists Warn of 'Catastrophic' Solar Storm

1 in 8 chance of destructive megaflare by 2020

(Newser) - Prepare yourself for yet another potential disaster. Scientists are warning that we face a one-in-eight chance of a massive "catastrophic" solar storm by the year 2020. A colossal "megaflare" from the surface of the sun could cause trillions of dollars in damage to electrical systems, and could take... More »

Your Electric Bill Is Going Up

Utilities have to pay for needed upgrades: Daily Beast

(Newser) - The Daily Beast delivers some bad news after looking at the regulatory filings of utilities across the country: Electric rates are going up, and they won't be coming back down for a while. The problem is that the utilities have to make badly needed repairs to the nation's... More »

Huge Power Outage Hits California, Arizona

San Diego, parts of Mexico in the dark after grid failure

(Newser) - A massive power outage has left more than 1 million people in the dark in California, Arizona, and Mexico, reports AP . San Diego is especially hard hit. No definitive word yet on what triggered the problem about 4pm local time, but authorities made a point to rule out terrorism. "... More »

Obama Tags $3.4B for Smart Energy Grid

Plan will create tens of thousands of jobs and cheaper electricity

(Newser) - President Obama will roll out a plan to use $3.4 billion in stimulus funds to modernize the nation’s electrical grid today. The “smart grid” spending will go to private contractors, utilities, and municipal governments in grants of between $400,000 and $2 million. The administration expects $4.... More »

Exercisers Boost Power Grid

Green tweak captures energy from popular gym equipment

(Newser) - Exercise buffs who hop on an elliptical machine for half an hour can power a laptop for an hour with the generated energy, thanks to a tweak made by a young Florida entrepreneur. The technique takes advantage of a generator already built into a popular model of the cross-trainers. About... More »

US Seeks 'Ethical Hackers' to Combat Cyber Threats

(Newser) - To combat the rising threat of attack on the nation’s computer networks, the US government is turning to the dark side for help, the AP reports. A call has gone out for so-called “ethical hackers” who “think like the bad guy” to work with Homeland Security to... More »

New Power Source Catches a Wave: Ocean Tides

(Newser) - In the search for renewable energy, Europe and the US are turning to one of the earth’s most abundant resources—the tides, Bloomberg reports. Technology developed three decades ago to turn tidal energy into electricity in developing countries is finally finding traction in the West. The largest grid-connected turbine,... More »

Google CEO: Energy Bailout Is a Must, Too

Adviser thinks Obama should open power grids, fund innovation

(Newser) - Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks the government needs to fund a massive reinvention of America’s energy infrastructure, opening up the grid to startups and funding innovation, Information Week reports. It’s crucial “that small startups with funny names get founded and funded in the new regime,” said... More »

Gore: 5 Steps to Save Planet

Nobel laureate calls on Obama, new Congress to act now

(Newser) - The road to energy efficiency is paved with the same solutions needed to fix the economic crisis, Al Gore writes in a New York Times op-ed. Dismissing proposals for domestic drilling, the climate crusader says, “We simply cannot any longer base the strategy for human survival on a cynical... More »

Outdated Power Grid Blowing Wind Energy Hopes: Experts

Creaky infrastructure not able to deliver alternative energy to consumers

(Newser) - The nation's outdated and congested power grid is putting a damper on plans to expand renewable energy programs, the New York Times reports. Generating power from the wind and sun is becoming easier—but getting the power to consumers who live far from the country's windiest and sunniest places remains... More »

African Sun Could Power EU

Scientists propose African solar farms for Europe's power

(Newser) - All of the European continent’s electrical needs could be generated by massive solar farms in Africa, scientists posited today, unveiling a plan to do just that, the Guardian reports. The proposal, which would require an area the size of Wales—insignificant in the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert,... More »

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