Tag Archives: electricity

Improving the Nation’s Electric Power Grid: Challenges and Opportunities


The electric power and distribution system in the United States is a critical component of our infrastructure that people rely on every day. It is a complex network of wires, transformers, and associated equipment and control software designed to transmit electricity from where it is generated, usually in centralized power plants, to commercial, residential, and industrial users. As the U.S. infrastructure has become increasingly dependent on electricity, vulnerabilities in the grid have the potential to cascade well beyond whether the lights turn on, impacting basic services such as the fueling infrastructure, the economic system, and emergency services. Our publications explore how to create an electric power grid for the future – one that optimizes operational efficiency and is resilient against attacks and disasters.


Analytic Research Foundations for the Next-Generation Electric Grid

Electricity is the lifeblood of modern society, and for the vast majority of people that electricity is obtained from large, interconnected power grids. However, the grid that was developed in the 20th century, and the incremental improvements made since then, including its underlying analytic …


Mathematical Sciences Research Challenges for the Next-Generation Electric Grid: Summary of a Workshop

If the United States is to sustain its economic prosperity, quality of life, and global competitiveness, it must continue to have an abundance of secure, reliable, and affordable energy resources. There have been many improvements in the technology and capability of the electric grid over the …


Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …


The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters: Summary of a Workshop

The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters is the summary of a workshop convened in February 2013 as a follow-up to the release of the National Research Council report Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System. That …


Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System

The electric power delivery system that carries electricity from large central generators to customers could be severely damaged by a small number of well-informed attackers. The system is inherently vulnerable because transmission lines may span hundreds of miles, and many key facilities are …


New books this week: Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution and more

Featured Publication

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution (prepublication)

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in brain size; and the emergence of Homo sapiens, tools, and culture. The geological record suggests that some of these evolutionary events were coincident with substantial changes in African and Eurasian climate, raising the intriguing possibility that key junctures in human evolution and behavioral development may have been affected or controlled by the environmental characteristics of the areas where hominins evolved. However, with both a sparse hominin fossil record and an incomplete understanding of past climates, the particular effect of the environment on hominin evolution remains speculative. This presents an opportunity for exciting and fundamental scientific research to improve our understanding of how climate may have helped to shape our species, and thereby to shed light on the evolutionary forces that made us distinctively human.

All New Publications This Week

Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries (prepublication)

Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland (prepublication)

NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique (prepublication)

Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (final)

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments (final)

Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments (final)