Brief Overview of the Electricity Infrastructure Sector
Electricity infrastructure consists of the equipment and services necessary to take electrical energy generated from things like hydroelectric dams, fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, or oil), nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass power plants (or electrical energy stored by energy storage systems) and transmit it to end-use residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Electricity infrastructure includes transmission- and distribution-level equipment like power transformers, voltage regulators, circuit breakers, switchgear, capacitors, fuses, controls, arresters, conductor, as well as electric vehicle charging infrastructure and associated grid control technologies like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS), virtual power plant (VPP), cybersecurity systems and more. Electricity infrastructure can also include associated engineering, procurement, and contracting (EPC), accounting, project financing, research and development (R&D), testing and certification (T&C), and other related services.
Electricity infrastructure is a critical sector globally. Without a stable electricity supply, health and welfare are threatened. Virtually all economic activity depends on a reliable electricity to function. Governments and utilities across the globe are increasingly focused on the need to maintain a hardened grid that is resilient in the face of natural disasters, including those emanating from climate change, as well as man-made threats of cyberattack or terrorism Modernizing electricity infrastructure through smart grid technologies that enable greater adoption of intermittent renewable energy resources as well as increasing load efficiency will be fundamental for countries and companies to reach global climate goals, and as a 2019 IEA report notes, increasing electricity infrastructure is essential for providing an estimated 770 million people globally who still lack basic access to electric power.
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