The National Electrical Manufacturers Association last month submitted 14 recommendations to the Obama administration to consider as part of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which was announced by the president in January.

Key recommendations to improve grid reliability, efficiency, and security to meet America’s current and future energy needs include:

  • five-year accelerated depreciation to incentivize investment in Smart Grid technologies that use information and communications to isolate and contain outages, and repair them remotely
  • incentivizing the construction of highly resilient microgrids—localized electrical generation coupled with energy storage systems that have the ability to isolate from the main grid during outages and operate independently, either on conventional or renewable energy sources
  • allowing federal disaster aid to be used for smart rebuilding—replacing damaged grid equipment with resilient technologies and installing backup power
  • permitting federal regulators to facilitate new interstate transmission lines with “backstop” authority to act when states are at an impasse
  • securing America’s electrical grid from cyberattacks and physical attacks through public-private cooperation, federal funding of R&D, promoting innovation through liability protections, robust consensus-based industry standards, and deployment of advanced sensing equipment

In January, the White House announced the undertaking of a QER to shape long-term national energy policy. Development of the QER is being managed by the Department of Energy’s policy office, along with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the White House Domestic Policy Office. The QER is being undertaken in three phases:

  1. energy transmission, storage, distribution, and resilience in 2014;
  2. supply and demand issues in 2015; and
  3. supply chain issues in 2016.