American blackout cyber attack youtube,how to survive cold weather homeless shelters,emergency kit for wedding - PDF Review

Season three of Doomsday Preppers is advertised as focusing on the build, and the show delivers.  By focusing on only two different preppers each show, they allowed a lot more time for each than the previous episodes that tried to cover three different preppers each. How do you think the “end of the world” type shows lately like World War Z, Revolution, American Blackout, and Doomsday Preppers, affect the preparedness movement?  Are they positive or negative or a little of both or neither?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Take the poll below or leave a comment with what you think!
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During a hot summer day in August 2003, the lights went out across much of the Northeast and Midwest United States and the Canadian province of Ontario. A a€?software buga€™ in a control room alarm system failed to warn operators to re-distribute power which resulted in a cascading massive widespread grid failure. Not long ago, power company executives gathered in Washington to discuss the reliability of the electric power grid. While the 2003 outage was much more widespread than the Northeast Blackout of 1965 and affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S.
The following are a few excerpted quotes from a conversation between David Greene and Tom Gjelten (NPR) with Mark Weatherford (former DHS cybersecurity), Michael Assante (NBISE president, cybersecurity expert), and James Fama (Edison Electric Institute) who revealed more substantiation for the emerging threat facing of our power grida€¦ Cyber Attack. DHS Warning: Russian Malware Has Infected Vital US Infrastructure Systems -What Can You Do to Prepare for a Grid-Down Attack? Kissimmee, FL (PRWEB) October 27, 2013 Kissimmee Utility Authority is advising its customers not to be concerned by the Oct. The high-voltage transmission system that interconnects the nation’s generating plants and provides the electricity that we rely on in our daily lives is a remarkably complex infrastructure. Efforts to enhance the electric grid’s reliability and promote competitive wholesale electric markets have largely succeeded, encouraging new generation development, lower operating costs, and greater availability. Regional coordination has significantly reduced the chance of large, catastrophic blackouts, the last non-weather-related blackout occurring in 2003.
Aging infrastructure, federal and individual state mandates for intermittent renewables, physical and cyber terrorism, and weather events all threaten transmission system reliability. While the federal government has enacted policies to strengthen wholesale competitive markets, it has also implemented policies that divert investments, force the use of unreliable energy resources, and socialize costs even where benefits are uncertain. There are practical steps based on economic principles that policymakers can take to ensure the bulk power system operates as efficiently as possible at the lowest cost. To address these vulnerabilities, policymakers can benefit by understanding the basic underpinnings of how the electric grid physically operates. Beginning in the late 1920s, electric utilities began to integrate their operations to improve reliability and reduce costs. Moreover, linking generating plants together to meet electricity demand of multiple utilities helped to lower costs because utilities could operate a group of generating plants to ensure the lowest cost units were supplying power, in essence dispatching generating plants to meet customer demand from lowest to highest operating cost. This integration required construction of high-voltage transmission lines to interconnect individual utilities, although the length of these lines was limited by electrical losses.[3] After World War II, higher-voltage transmission lines were constructed, which allowed utilities to transmit (“wheel”) power over greater distances, further reducing costs and increasing reliability. By the early 1960s, many utilities across the country had formed voluntary groups to coordinate operation of their generating plants and transmission systems.
Until passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), these reliability standards from NERC were voluntary. Unlike trucks that are dispatched along specific highways or natural gas in pipelines, electric power cannot be steered along specific routes. As a result, the need for ensuring the reliability of the power system has led to far greater coordination among the different players, including independent transmission operators (ISOs) and the regional transmission organizations (RTOs) that oversee transmission system operations and wholesale power markets.
Historically, local electric utilities were granted franchise monopolies in exchange for agreeing to serve everyone in their designated area, which is called the obligation to serve.
In the same way, FERC oversees the bulk power system that transmits electricity across state lines, which is subject to federal regulation. Although FERC oversees wholesale prices, it cannot require transmission system owners to build new transmission lines, nor can FERC override state siting regulations that prohibit a transmission line from bisecting a state park or passing through a specific neighborhood.
FERC can prevent individual states from adopting rules that regulators determine would adversely affect the interstate wholesale markets. Individual states have developed their own electric and energy policies, including renewable portfolio standards that mandate that a certain percentage of electricity sold to consumers come from renewable energy. Because of state and regional differences, retail and wholesale electric prices vary across the country.
The efforts to enhance reliability and promote competitive wholesale electric markets have been largely successful.
One element of reliability and well-functioning markets is sufficient transmission capacity. Despite identification of areas in which transmission capacity is limited, a “not in my backyard” (or anyone else’s, in some cases) attitude toward new transmission line siting has resulted in cancellation or delay of some new transmission lines. For example, in 2011, PJM cancelled the proposed Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) project, a 275-mile transmission line that would have run through West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland to deliver electricity into Northern Virginia.
State and federal policies that mandate and subsidize development of far-flung wind generation and solar power also have increased the need for new transmission infrastructure and the operating stress on the bulk power system. For example, in the early 1990s, many energy planners were predicting crude oil prices above $200 per barrel and shortages of natural gas. In addition to affecting wholesale electric markets, wind generation physically affects the transmission system. In a 2012 report, the National Research Council identified a number of physical threats, especially to high-voltage transformers.
Still another challenge stems from who pays for grid improvements, especially new transmission lines needed to interconnect renewable resources.
This approach began to break down with the need to integrate greater quantities of subsidized solar and wind generation.
Third, the interdependencies of the transmission grid mean that a local event—a downed transmission line or a shot-up substation—can have widespread impacts, just as the 2003 incident in Ohio affected millions of customers in New York City. One of the most discussed aspects of the transmission system (as well as local distribution systems) is the “Smart Grid.” The idea behind the Smart Grid is to employ more advanced, computerized technology to make “dumb” wires “smart”[27]—to employ two-way communications technology that provides real-time information on consumer demand for power and the condition of the entire transmission system. Despite the hype, few studies have estimated the potential benefits and costs of a Smart Grid. The DOE also developed a Smart Grid Computational Tool to estimate the benefits of specific Smart Grid applications.[34] However, the benefits depend heavily on numerous assumptions, such as consumers’ responsiveness to real-time price signals, the value of reduced system outages, and the value of reductions in air pollution emissions. Finally, whereas the claimed benefits of Smart Grid technologies stem from advanced use of electronics, the National Research Council report highlighted the increased vulnerabilities of the transmission system to cyberterrorism. Applying basic economic principles, the bulk power system should be operated as efficiently as possible to provide an optimum level of reliability at the lowest possible cost.
Thus, while the federal government enacted policies to strengthen wholesale competitive markets, it has also enacted policies that have adversely affected those same markets because of continued subsidies for renewable generation.
Although the Smart Grid offers potential economic benefits through real-time pricing of electricity, those benefits will be minimal if retail consumers cannot directly access competitive power markets and do not base their consumption decisions on market prices.
Eliminate all renewable resource subsidies, which encourage uneconomic expansion of the transmission grid to interconnect widely dispersed resources.
Eliminate DOE subsidies of Smart Grid spending for specific utilities, such as those designed to encourage electric vehicle penetration.
Although renewable generation subsidies have strong advocates, it is past time for these resources to compete without government mandates and subsidies. Finally, new infrastructure siting must be addressed in ways that uphold property rights and that balance state and local sovereignty with broader regional needs for an efficient, reliable, electric system.
Policymakers have pushed to integrate more renewable energy into the grid through subsidies, mandates, and targeted tax credits and have also called for government spending on Smart Grid technologies that essentially computerize the grid.
Golden Icons Chris Hemsworth Plays the Hunky and Stereotype-Defying Cyber Hacker in 'Blackout'!
It was the biggest blackout in American history, all triggered by an overloaded overheated power line in Ohio which sagged down low and hit tree foliage. While most can deal with losing power for a few hours, if faced with life without electricity for several days, a week, weeks?, or longer?, then life as we know it will be disrupted beyond onea€™s wildest imagination. 27 broadcast of a television docudrama that examines the after effects of the collapse of the nations power grid. This report considers how well that system is working, its strengths and its weaknesses, and the policies that can best ensure the system continues to perform its essential functions.
In 2000, the National Academy of Engineering named the modern transmission system as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.[1] Powering America’s homes, factories, and gadgets, reliable electricity is a staple for modern comfort and the production of valuable goods and services. Similarly, policies enacted at the federal and state levels, especially over the past two decades, have affected how the electric grid operates, including the efficiency of wholesale electric markets and the need for new infrastructure investment.


Previously, utilities had operated as “islands,” meeting the demand for electricity solely from their own generating plants. Today, large electric transmission lines typically transfer power at hundreds of thousands of volts, and 230–500 kilovolt (kV) systems form the backbone of the continental U.S. However, partly in response to the 2003 blackout, Congress included a requirement in EPAct 2005 that NERC, which was renamed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, develop specific reliability and operation standards to ensure the reliability and safe operation of the bulk power system. Instead, power flows through the transmission based on physical laws, always flowing along the paths of least electric resistance. FERC regulates the rates that transmission system owners can charge for the services they provide. For example, states cannot adopt policies intended to force wholesale prices down, such as forcing local distribution utilities to build new generation to increase the supply of power and thus lower prices. In recent years, however, the federal government has imposed various mandates to engineer the mix of fuels used to generate electricity.
For example, in the Pacific Northwest, large quantities of low-cost federally owned hydropower plants sell electricity to local electric utilities in the region.
In some ways, by creating an expectation that power will always be available, the electric industry is a victim of its own success.
When transmission capacity is constrained in an area, such as northern Virginia or New York City, the lowest cost electric supplies cannot always be delivered.
Department of Energy (DOE) identified two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors—one in the West and the other covering the Mid-Atlantic states. Although the line was designed to improve reliability in eastern PJM, changing forecasts of electricity demand growth and intense opposition to siting the line led to the project’s cancellation.
These subsidies began in 1978 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, which mandated that local electric utilities purchase the output from wind generators at administratively set avoided costs, which typically were based on forecasts by regulators that predicted the cost to a utility of building and operating new generating plants. Unlike the steady and controllable generation from conventional and nuclear generators, the inherent variability of wind power creates additional stress on the bulk power system because electricity demand varies continuously and supply and demand must be balanced in every instant. For example, Texas spent more than $7 billion to build a network of high-voltage transmission lines to bring wind power in west Texas to urban centers in the east. The transmission system is also vulnerable to acts of physical and cyber vandalism, sabotage, and terrorism.
The report stated that these transformers are “very large, difficult to move, custom-built, and difficult to replace.
Although retail consumers ultimately pay for these investments, how the costs are allocated among different consumers has become controversial.
Historically, transmission grid operators would allocate transmission line costs to the local utility where the physical interconnection took place, even if the power generated by a wind facility was to be delivered to customers of a different utility.
Yet as the amount of subsidized renewable generation began increasing dramatically, requiring entirely new high-voltage transmission lines to be built, interconnection costs rose and local electric utilities balked.
This major rule was designed, among other things, to adopt a broader cost socialization approach for “public policy initiatives,” such as renewable generation.
However, because the benefits of reliability are not evenly distributed—individuals and firms may place far different values on avoiding interruptions to electric service—determining how costs should be allocated can be difficult and controversial. Asking an individual what he is willing to pay for reliable electric service is likely to evoke an odd stare, not a specific dollar value. Siting a new highway or airport can raise similar questions about costs, benefits, and who should pay.
Moreover, Smart Grid proponents promote the ability of consumers to make more economically efficient decisions on electric usage, such as reducing consumption when demand and wholesale prices peak and having “smart” appliances that can be controlled automatically to respond to real-time electric market prices. Thus, the same technologies that are providing new benefits can also increase the vulnerability of the transmission grid. The public policy emphasis on renewable generating resources, primarily wind generation, has become increasingly costly. The inherent variability of wind and solar resources requires additional investment in transmission system infrastructure, including investment in natural gas generation to be held in reserve in case of sudden drops in wind generation output.
In states that have not instituted direct retail electric competition, electric consumers purchase power from their local electric utility at rates set by regulators. If ratepayers are forced to spend billions of dollars on smart meters that track real-time consumption, then utility regulators should enact policies that allow utility rates to reflect real-time market values to the greatest extent possible. Similarly, electric vehicle users, not taxpayers, should pay the costs of local distribution system infrastructure needed for their vehicles. The continuing subsidies, such as the PTC, adversely affect the competitive wholesale electric markets and grid operations because of their variable output. 1000 and allow transmission systems to determine how best to allocate costs among transmission system owners and users. The NRS 2012 report contains numerous recommendations to reduce power system vulnerability to both cyber attacks and physical threats, such as the snipers that shot out the substation near San Jose in 2013. Subsidies always distort markets, and the production subsidies for wind power have damaged competitive wholesale power markets and increased the costs of operating the bulk power system.
Production tax credits and mandates for renewable energy supplies impose high costs, with few benefits.
Although there are no simple answers, a starting point may be to more clearly analyze the benefits and costs of new infrastructure.
Instead of promoting preferred technologies driven by special interests with taxpayer-funded subsidies, Congress should eliminate these subsidies and implement market-based reforms that will truly improve the electricity grid’s efficacy and resiliency. If the voltage fluctuates above or below that value by more than a few volts, lights and appliances will not work. The authors describe a specific analysis performed for the PJM Interconnection on optimal location of spare transformers.
The risk and consequences of losing electricity are so enormous, that every single one of us should consider the ramifications a€” even if only for a few days. Yet as interwoven as the electric grid is into our daily lives, few understand how electricity is delivered to the consumer and the policies that influence this process.
This brief report provides an introduction to the electric grid: What it is, how it operates, how it is regulated, and the challenges it faces.
To ensure reliable service, this meant building extra generating capacity to keep in reserve, in case unexpected problems caused their plants to shut down.[2] By integrating their operations, utilities could provide more reliable service without building as much backup generating capacity. Then, in November 1965, an improperly set resistor at a hydroelectric plant on the Saint Lawrence River triggered a massive blackout in the Northeast.
EPAct further tasked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with enforcing NERC’s reliability standards[6] and ensuring that the bulk power system is operated in ways that ensure competition in the wholesale electric markets. This network of large generating stations and high-voltage transmission lines is called the bulk power system. Because of this and because power cannot be stored cost-effectively, power system operators must continually adjust generators to keep everything operating within a narrow range of voltage levels and frequency.[8] Without these continuous adjustments, the power system would rapidly fail.
For the few companies that FERC claims have market power, FERC sets the maximum cost-based prices that the companies are allowed to charge, in the same way that FERC sets the maximum prices that regulated interstate natural gas pipelines can charge their customers. The Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005 created various tax incentives for renewable resources, especially wind and solar generation.
Moreover, in states that have restructured their electric industry and allow direct retail electric competition, utility consumers can contract directly with wholesale electric suppliers, much as they can select their cellular phone service provider. In contrast, electricity prices in New England have historically been the highest in the continental U.S.
As electricity’s importance in our daily lives has increased, so has the magnitude and complexity of the transmission system. Instead, consumers must rely on less-efficient, higher-cost local generation, which leads to higher wholesale electric prices. The corridors are geographic areas where transmission congestion or other transmission constraints adversely affect consumers. Yet as a result of these erroneous forecasts, avoided costs were set at levels far higher than the cost of alternative generation.
For example, on February 5, 2014, The Wall Street Journal detailed a sniper attack on a large power substation near San Jose, California, in April 2013.[20] The attack knocked the substation out of service for almost an entire month.
Typically, cost allocation is based on the cost-causation principle, which can be thought of as similar to a “you break it, you buy it” policy in a retail store.
For example, the transmission interconnection costs for a wind power facility built in rural Iowa would be allocated to the local electric utility even if the power was being delivered to consumers in Ohio. For example, two utility members of the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO), a transmission organization covering numerous states in the Midwest, threatened to withdraw from MISO altogether. As a result of Order 1000, many infrastructure costs associated with interconnecting wind and solar facilities will be socialized across all transmission system users, forcing many users to further subsidize renewable energy beyond the federal and state tax handouts. Nevertheless, the interconnected nature of the industry, the difficulty in estimating the benefits and costs of transmission system infrastructure, and controversy over how to allocate costs efficiently and fairly can make transmission system projects daunting.


For example, SCADA systems that became popular in the 1960s used two-way communications to monitor the health of the transmission system.[31] Thus, Smart Grid technologies are more evolutionary than revolutionary, stemming from improvements in computing technology and wireless communications. Some of these risks, such as vandalism, sabotage, and cyberterrorism, have been studied extensively. Even though the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired at the end of 2013, wind generating facilities that began construction before that date are eligible for the tax credit. Consequently, RTOs must set aside greater amounts of generation in reserve, which means additional generation is needed to meet demand. These rates often reflect a variety of objectives, from subsidies to promote economic development and retention of manufacturing jobs to special low-income rates. Intermittent generation exacerbates the need for backup generation, yet renewable energy subsidies discourage new generation investment. Transmission system owners and users are better suited to identify the costs and benefits of system investments and how to allocate those investments.
Their development and purchases are heavily subsidized and primarily benefit upper-income individuals. The report also contains recommendations for restoring power after a major outage, such as stockpiling transformers and other long-lead-time equipment and better contingency planning. The bulk power system of generation and high-voltage transmission lines has enabled universal access to affordable electricity. These policies have not only led to premature retirements of baseload generating facilities, which are needed to supply low-cost electricity, but also discouraged new investment.
Federal mandates, such as FERC Order 1000, have imposed cost allocation schemes based on purported collective benefits. Moreover, it is possible to design mechanisms that compensate the relatively few who experience harm, while still obtaining the benefits of new infrastructure. With several policy changes, it can continue to provide reliable, safe, and secure electricity supplies that continue to enhance our lives. The final report will be published later in 2014 after the mandatory 60-day comment period.
As a result of their analysis, PJM redeployed spare transformers, including to a substation where, just two weeks after a spare was sited, the existing transformer failed. Table 2 of that report lists the 20 companies receiving the most money for Smart Grid projects.
The fictional account uses camcorder footage combined with real-life disaster clips (including bits featuring President Obama) to chronicle society rapidly falling apart in the wake of the attack.
Finally, the report considers whether policy changes are needed to improve the system and, if so, what types of policies will ensure the highest reliability, safety, and security at the lowest possible cost. Despite the grid’s functioning exceptionally well, many concerns exist about grid vulnerabilities, whether from natural causes or from terrorists trying to disrupt the power grid.
In essence, if a generating plant at Utility A suffered a forced outage, one of Utility B’s generators would be available to ensure the lights stayed on. This blackout led the electric industry to create the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and prompted far more regional coordination among utilities to ensure the power system could avoid future large catastrophic outages.
Federal environmental regulations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, effectively prohibit construction of such plants and are intended to phase out coal use.[9] Similarly, EPA rules on water discharge temperatures restrict operations of some nuclear plants that rely on rivers for cooling water.
Moreover, the need for new transmission system investment and the allocation of costs of that investment have been affected by subsidies for renewable solar and especially wind generation.
Yet siting and building new transmission facilities in these areas can raise complex issues. Having sufficient information about the condition of this infrastructure is a key component to ensuring optimum reliability.
Even if one consumer in a neighborhood is willing to pay twice as much as another consumer to avoid a blackout, the local utility can only provide both consumers with the same reliability. Moreover, the interconnected nature of the transmission system creates the opportunity for inevitable conflicts when state and federal policymakers disagree.
Finally, some Smart Grid investments, such as charging stations for electric vehicles, benefit the few who can afford (subsidized) electric vehicles at the expense of the many who cannot.
Experts have recommended numerous policy changes to reduce the risk of attack and to speed up the recovery from an attack.[35] Some of these recommendations, such as locating spare transformers in key areas, will also provide improved reliability. Moreover, the PTC credit, which in 2013 was $24 per megawatt-hour (MWh) on a pre-tax basis or $35 per MWh on an after-tax basis, is as large as the average wholesale price of power in some markets. Moreover, integrating far-flung wind and solar resources requires spending billions of dollars on new transmission lines that would otherwise not be needed, and those costs are further socialized across all transmission system users.
Moreover, because different methods of assigning causation can result in vastly different allocations of costs among customer groups, regulated tariffs can allocate costs inefficiently compared with the market. The government should avoid additional subsidies of the infrastructure needed to accommodate electric vehicle recharging.
New analytical methods to improve reliability planning, including optimal location of spare equipment, can also be implemented. However, the increasing demands placed on the power system to meet policy mandates and its potential vulnerability to physical threats and cyber attacks require policy changes.
They directly contradict other policy goals that sought to enhance competitive generation markets and encourage investment. A typical large wind-power facility has a power density of 1–2 watts per square meter because the turbines must be widely spaced. The economic analysis presented in this report suffers from the fundamental flaw of failing to recognize that the $2.96 billion was money taken from taxpayers, which was then given to selected companies. The movie airs on the 75th anniversary of The War of the Worlds 1938 radio drama, directed and narrated by actor and filmmaker Orson Welles, that caused widespread outrage and panic by listeners, who had believed the events described in the program were real.
As a result of increased coordination among utilities and transmission system operators, there have been few such outages since. Ironically, that has adversely affected reliability because of their inherent intermittency: The wind does not always blow, and the sun has a maddening tendency to disappear at night.
These include concerns about siting, property easements, impacts on property values, and allocation of costs.
Court of Appeals overturned the DOE’s designations in 2011 because the DOE failed to prepare environmental impact statements for the corridor designations,[15] the court’s ruling did not change the transmission congestion issues in those areas. For example, the 2011 EPRI report estimated $74 billion in improved “qualify of life” benefits, including greater “comfort” and “convenience.” However, accurately measuring such attributes, much less defining them in measurable ways, is difficult. A Congressional Research Service report estimated that a one-year extension of the PTC would cost over $12 billion in lost tax revenues.[36] Moreover, there has been increasing concern over the impacts of subsidized wind generation on competitive wholesale markets and premature retirement of baseload (“round-the-clock”) generating resources such as nuclear power.
Regulated retail rates rarely reflect economic efficiency by pricing electricity at its true market value, which varies from day to day and even hour to hour. These subsidies should also be eliminated because they exacerbate the costs needed for new distribution system infrastructure.
Finally, rather than implementing one-size-fits-all federal standards, utilities and transmission system operators should be able to work together to identify risks and appropriate strategies to address those risks.
Federal policies that work at cross-purposes simply waste the money of taxpayers and electric consumers. A better approach would be to allow transmission system participants to determine how best to allocate costs.
As a result, power delivered to a local electric utility must be reduced to these lower, usable voltages.
In contrast, a nuclear power plant may have a power density of hundreds of watts per square meter.
Likewise, American Blackout is designed to play on the deep-seated fears of a new generation of U.S. Instead of investing everything into just one company’s stock, buying multiple stocks, bonds, and other investments reduces the risk of a sudden financial loss. When proposed transmission lines cross multiple states, the process becomes even more difficult, especially when any one state can veto the siting. For example, improving security at key substations to prevent disruptions would cost little compared with the potential costs of major equipment failures. As long as key competitive principles are maintained, transmission system owners are best suited to determine the most efficient cost-allocation policies.
Similarly, contingency planning that hastens recovery in the event of a major outage and stockpiling sufficient spare parts in key locations are practical actions with benefits that would likely far outweigh the additional costs.
The exercise, which uses best practices from utilities and other contributions from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is designed to validate the readiness of the electric utility industry to respond to a cyber incident, strengthen utilities crisis response functions and provide input for internal security program improvements.



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