Moving electricity from one point to another in the United States to the casual observer seems painless. You look up and see high voltage main lines running across the country. The problem is they are the proverbial leaking hose because they are so outdated.
When Americans decided to wire America after World War II, they did not have the luxury of experience and the modern technology of today. For the most part it was hang wires in the shortest distance and direction between point ‘A’ and point ‘B’. The US population was about 140 million in 1946 when the baby boom started, and the technology of the era was more than adequate with cheap energy every place you looked.
Fast forward to today and the need for efficient transfer of electricity is a priority. New technology will limit the loss of electricity to between 1% and 2%. That very quickly translates into big money and oil savings. The rolling blackouts of the hot summer months reminds Americans just how maxed out the system really is and how much needs to be done.
That however is only one part of the problem. The next is remapping the power grid. The future will produce electricity in a more decentralized way similar to the Internet. Wind farms, geothermal power plants and more will slowly replace many of the main power hubs. It is not too far fetched that by the year 2110 every building will be at or near self supporting when it comes to electricity. But for now America lacks the wiring to take advantage of today’s technology in a bigger way. The wires just can’t handle what can be produced, and that limits the size of wind farms and other green energy.
The jobs here will be mapping and hanging a new power grid eventually replacing the old obsolete one. Then up sizing the green energy plants eventually taking oil of line. For the most part 99% of this will be all blue collar work, but it is a sustainable growth plan.
There is a lot of work here to produce the hardware and getting it into the field, but it is needed as the changeover is no longer an option. Global warming, dwindling oil supplies, and population growth signal time to move into the new century properly, and forget the nostalgia of the last.