• Industry executive warns transmission infrastructure needs urgent replacement and upgrading

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

power lines

Ageing transmission infrastructure in both North America and Europe is fuelling fears of future blackouts, according to Christopher Guérin, chief executive of French cable maker Nexans. Much grid infrastructure was built after the end of the Second World War, and increasing electricity use per capita is placing an added demand, the two factors leading to an increasing risk of outages. Per capita demand for electricity in the USA has risen from 1.4MWh in 1975 to 3.5MWh in 2019, and is expected to have climbed to 4.4MWh by 2040. With outages costing the US economy US$70 billion per year at present, President Joe Biden plans to spend US$100 billion to 2035 so that the grid can operate carbon-free, and this might go some way to fixing the problem in the USA, if the spending is approved. Similar plans are part of the European Commission’s Green Deal, and with China’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, much is expected to be invested globally in transmission infrastructure in the next two decades. This, to Mr Guérin, shows that the world is at the beginning of a “huge electrical revolution”.