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What every American should know about electricity

  • Electricity—America’s most important energy source. Electricity accounts for 38% of all primary energy consumed.
  • Electricity—Use will grow dramatically. By 2050, overall demand for electricity could double. Main reasons: electrification to prevent carbon emissions, population growth, and demand from data centers used for artificial intelligence and other computing. Charging electric vehicles can increase a home's electricity consumption by 40%. Electric heat pumps to replace oil or gas burners add more demand. Nvidia's DGX A100 server used for AI requires 6.5 kilowatts of electricity, equivalent to the average usage of five American households.
  • Electricity—Less reliable sources are replacing dependable generators. Technical fixes are yet to be invented. Solar and wind resources are replacing reliable — but polluting—fossil fuel plants. Wind power depends on ever-changing weather. Solar generation fades in the evening, right when electricity use peaks. Advanced nuclear technologies do not emit carbon, but the most recently commissioned plants took 15 years to build. Simple math shows blackouts are likely in some U.S. regions within a few years.

Why should you care?

  • This affects you. Three trends—increasing electricity use, rapid closure of polluting plants, and growing reliance on intermittent solar and wind generators—could result in frequent rolling blackouts. We become at risk for total grid collapse, too.
  • Challenges are complex. Our modern society needs reliable, resilient, clean, and affordable electricity. Emphasizing one goal to the exclusion of others results in poor public policy—and bad effects on society’s most vulnerable groups.
  • Urgent action is needed. Leadtime for new electricity sources is at least 5-10 years: planning, permitting, construction, and transmission upgrades. If we don’t find and implement fixes well before a crisis occurs, our suffering will be long-term.

What is GridClue™?

An online resource for local electricity data. GridClue uses official data from the U.S. Government to educate policymakers and the public on electricity resources and demand.

GridClue offers unique tools:

  • State Report Cards grade states’ electricity performance on an academic scale of "A" to "F" in four categories … Resilience, Carbon Intensity, Reliability, and Cost.
  • Electricity Adequacy compares historical demand scenarios to available resources. When energy surpluses are low, blackouts are more likely.

Learn more from our GridClue whitepaper and presentation.

How can GridClue™ help?

  • Democratized Data. Before GridClue, concerned citizens needed computer programming skills to make sense of government data sets. GridClue enables sophisticated analysis by "point and click." Online use of GridClue is totally free.
  • Fact-based Discussions. When utilities are the only ones with resources to perform electricity calculations, policymakers and their constituents must depend on filtered data and intuition. GridClue allows everyone to "get on the same page" with objective, authoritative data from government sources.
  • Accountability. With easy access to facts about electricity generation, citizens can hold utilities and their regulators to account. Politicians can make more timely, informed decisions on behalf of their constituents and the nation.

To see your state's grades, click below:

To see your region's resources, click below:

Interested in providing feedback? Click below to email our development team:

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