The devastation caused by hurricanes in 2017 to U.S. coastal cities and territories can only be described at this early stage of recovery as historic. The numbers and actual economic impacts in the coming months will no doubt illuminate more deeply the gravity of the situation, and will likely spark a renewed enthusiasm in the ongoing debate of infrastructure and spending.
Hopefully, what will come of this terrible situation is an honest, intelligent, and less political long-term analysis and action plan for U.S. infrastructure that involves the integration of cutting-edge technology to help communities build resilience to more severe weather patterns and rising sea levels.
Fortunately, these discussions are already being had by leaders in Congress. Specifically, members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee (Subcommittee on Energy) have been holding a series of Powering America hearings for several months. The latest hearing on September 26, 2017, highlighted that it was National Clean Energy Week last week. In this hearing, private sector technology companies, utilities, and electric cooperatives discussed with lawmakers how they are using technology, such as battery storage, blockchain, and other behavior-measuring technologies, to provide energy consumers the ability to manage and monetize their use of onsite electricity generation, as well as support consistent and reliable flows to the larger grid in times of emergencies. To hear more about interesting pilot projects going on across America that can be replicated in your neck of the woods, watch here.