Skip navigation
A. A New Approach to Power Generation

Narrator: This is Science Today. Over the next twenty-five years, total electricity consumption in the United States is estimated to go up a dramatic fifty percent. To address this growing energy need, scientists like Chris Marnay of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, are developing a new approach to power generation and reliability, which they call the CERTS Microgrid.

Marnay: The idea is that a small cluster of generators in a building, or in a group of buildings, or in an industrial facility, could function autonomously from the grid in the case of an outage and also connected to the grid under normal operating circumstances.

Narrator: Marnay says today the power grid is very vulnerable-if one part fails, the whole grid can blackout-but microgrids could protect vital services during a blackout and increase security.

Marnay: And if you could protect what are vital services and so on in this way, then also the consequences of an outage could be a lot less. And the corollary of that is that it makes the grid less attractive as a target.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.