Research and development regarding the distribution of stored solar energy has been a hot topic lately. One of the largest national security threats lies in our power grid. This was brought up in a reading for ICS 602, in addition to energy being a hot topic in my newsletters for ICS 642.
The technology for the distribution of stored solar energy is very accessible and is something that the US Military is now considering in order to make their bases more secure. A team of engineering and energy policy experts have suggested that the first step towards beefing up the security of the power grid is to equip military bases with solar photovoltaic (PV)-powered microgrid systems. (MTU, 2017).
One interesting finding that the team had was “that it would take 2,140 gigawatts to supply all critical infrastructure in the US with 100 percent solar power and a hybrid microgrid system with storage provide protection against grid failure. The military alone would need 17 gigawatts. To put that in perspective, the US has installed a total capacity of 22.7 gigawatts of solar to date.” (MTU, 2017).
The US military plans on having 25% of their energy production from renewable sources by 2025. Out of over 400 potential military sites only 27 have microgrid systems set in place or plans set to put them in place. This makes them extremely vulnerable to attacks due to relying on generators that require a fuel source. The US does not have any renewable energy policy in place, but the military having one sets a good precedent for the future when the need arises in our country. Our dependency on energy continues to soar each year and stored distributed solar will become more prevalent.
Michigan Technology University. (2017, May 9). Installing Solar to Combat National Security Risks in the Power Grid. Retrieved from https://www.rdmag.com/news/2017/05/installing-solar-combat-national-security-risks-power-grid.