The importance of a strong power grid cannot be emphasized enough. Often, when a grid fails, the results are terrifying. Of all the major power grids in the world, the United States’ is one of the more vulnerable to attack.
State-sponsored hackers from the likes of Iran, Russia, and, unsurprisingly, China pose a real threat to the United States’ electrical transmission lines. However, there’s another (far less obvious) threat to the grid: electric vehicles (EVs).
Yes, you read that right.
The Biden administration is desperate to consign the internal combustion engine to the dustbin of history. In this radical shift to embrace a new, zero-emission world, Americans are being told to embrace EVs. Such an embrace, however, requires a stellar power grid, the very thing the United States lacks.
Just to be clear, the U.S. power grid (or electric grid) involves a huge network of transmission lines, power plants, and distribution centers. The United States has three major grids: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the ERCOT Grid, otherwise known as the Texas Grid. Of the three, the Eastern Grid is the largest.
Although the three grids can operate independently, they’re also connected. A failed grid means no power for tens of millions of citizens and prolonged periods of darkness. Imagine a power grid failure in the likes of Los Angeles or New York. The two cities are already riddled with crime; grid failures would make things many times worse.
Attacks Since 2016
In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Russian hackers had hijacked the control rooms of various electric utilities. This allowed the hackers to disrupt power flows and cause blackouts.
Rather alarmingly, the DHS conceded that the attacks had been occurring since 2016, the same year the Russians started attacking Ukraine’s grid. Although the Russians have strenuously denied the attack, such denials appear to conflict with reality.
As tensions between Russia and the United States escalate, and tensions between China, another hacker-friendly country, intensify, expect more disruptions to the grid.