Hoping to have time to write this out in detail, but key links are here.
Government incompetence is beginning to scare me. While there is probably some low hanging fruit in hardening the grid, making it more resilient through redundancy would be a much better way to spend the money. It would have the added benefit of expanding the amount of renewables that could be added to the grid.
The scenario below is for a coordinated attack. The more nodes that have to be hit simultaneously, the harder it is to plan and execute an attack. It requires more people, more complex logistics and therefore more communications and substantially raises the probability of catching them before they have a chance to attack. It also makes it harder to determine for certain which nodes are critical therefore making failure of the mission more likely.
Since, after a decade, those who should be addressing this are not, the free press is doing its job to raise awareness and smoke out the bureaucratic dysfunction responsible for no action being taken. The homeland security budget is nearly $40 Billion. With $1B of per year of that re purposed for grid infrastructure upgrades it would not be long before we could check grid failure off of the list as well as dramatically reduce the likelihood of major blackouts such as the one that darkened the whole East coast when a tree branch fell on the power line.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304020104579433670284061220 — In order to see the whole WSJ piece, just search the article’s title (U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack) on Google’s main page. It’ll be the top result and will let you in.
HVDC, HVAC, transmission line, interconnection, substation, terrorist, terrorism, Wall Street Journal