Expert: U.S. utilities unprepared for EMP threats
The existing paradigm for creating and distributing electrical power is obsolete and inefficient. It is time to change to a distributed network on each residential and commercial building with solar panels generating electricity independently of electric utilities. The utilities can be useful in establishing and maintaining the network (grid) however every private entity needs to be a participant in generating electrical power, both as a team member working to power the nation and as an independent self-sufficient entity not waiting on some corporation to come save them in a massive and potentially long term power outage. When people live in large groups things such as sewage and waste water recycling are more difficult for individuals to accomplish, but solar electric power requires merely some solar panels and a box, possibly owned and provided by the power corporation, which feeds excess power into the communal grid.
While most people worry more about the threats from the sun because it’s a certainty, Pry said if utilities prepared for the nuclear EMP then they would be protected against most anything, including cyber attacks and severe weather. Pry said the vulnerability of the grid boils down to a couple of key components; large-scale power transformers and the SCADA systems that run them, which could be protected using surge arrestors …
“The serious problem for recovery is not power lines getting knocked down, which is what everyone assumes, but the overvoltage from these catastrophic collapses caused by weather that cause transformers and SCADAs to get burned out. We can easily replace telephone poles and power lines, we can’t replace these other things.”
If every residential and business building had a sufficient amount of solar panels to power itself during the day, then even if a disaster or attack destroyed a part of the grid, or the entire grid, it would not significantly affect people outside that one small area where the event occurred. As it is now, if the grid goes out in Pennsylvania several States could be without power for weeks. This is foolish and unnecessary with the technology we now possess.