Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System
National Academy of Sciences, Consensus Study Report, July 2017
Senior Advisor Susan F. Tierney served on the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Enhancing the Resiliency of the Nation's Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System. The panel's report, Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System, revealed that the U.S. electric power network remains vulnerable to natural disasters, physical and cyber attacks, and accidents. The report makes recommendations to the many governmental and private entities responsible for the resilience of this critical national infrastructure; so as to lessen the likelihood that such outages will occur, limit their scope and impact when they do occur, restore power rapidly afterwards, and learn from these experiences to better deal with events in the future.
The report focuses on identifying, developing, and implementing strategies to increase the power system's resilience in the face of events that can cause large-area, long-duration outages – that is, blackouts that extend over multiple service areas and last several days or longer. Specific recommendations for current and future improvements were made to the operators of the electricity system, as well as to federal, state, and municipal agencies.
In addition to serving as a member of the Committee, Dr. Tierney provided insights from her work on electric industry regulatory issues and market trends; electric and natural gas system interdependencies; and on distributed energy resources and the U.S. coal industry, the latter of which were cited in the report.