Questions for ‘This grid moves energy, but not always reliably’


A failure of the electric system can quickly leave millions of people in the dark.


To accompany feature “This grid moves power, but not always reliably


Before Reading:

1.  If the electricity went out at your home for an hour, what activities of your daily life would be affected? What might happen if you lost electricity for several weeks or months? 

2.  Do you know where the electricity you use comes from? What might get in the way of electricity reaching you?         

During Reading:

1.  What happened when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017?     

2.   What is the electric grid? What are some of its key parts? 

3.   What are three factors that can threaten the electric grid?  

4.   How can “space weather” affect the grid? What about cybercrime?  

5.   How are Andrew Phillips and his team working to make the electric grid tougher?

6.   What does it mean to build “resiliency” in the electric grid?

7.   What role could renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, play in strengthening the electric grid?  

8.    What is distributed generation

9.    What is a microgrid, and how can it help protect against local outages? 

10.   Why might batteries become increasingly important for keeping the grid stable?

After Reading

1.  What are three things you can do to help reduce demands on the electric grid?

2.  If you were designing a microgrid for your school, how might you set it up? Describe what it might contain and look like.