In Chicago, the nation’s biggest rail center, congestion is so bad that it takes a freight train longer to get through the city limits than it does to get to Los Angeles.
Facts & Quotes
The on-site costs of mining metallurgical coal in North America may be the same as in Australia. But the cost of shipping it to the coasts to export it to Asia is up to 4 times greater due to transportation and logistical costs.
According to the US Department of Energy, a fully functioning smart grid will mean improved reliability, better efficiency and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
About 51% of the generating capacity of the US is in plants that were at least 30 years old at the end of 2010. Most gas-fired capacity is less than 10 years old, while 73% of all coal-fired capacity is 30 years or older.7 Moreover, nationally, 70% of transmission lines and power transformers are 25 years or older, while 60% of circuit breakers are more than 30 years old.
In 2000, the one-hour outage that hit the Chicago Board of Trade resulted in $20 trillion in trades delayed.
If every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, the country would conserve enough energy to light 3 million homes and save more than $600 million annually.
Since 1982, growth in peak demand for electricity – driven by population growth, bigger houses, bigger TVs, more air conditioners and more computers – has exceeded transmission growth by almost 25% every year.
Today’s electricity system is 99.97 percent reliable, yet still allows for power outages and interruptions that cost Americans at least $150 billion each year — about $500 for every man, woman and child.
Between 2003 and 2012, roughly 679 power outages, each affecting at least 50,000 customers, occurred due to weather events.
The grid delivers electricity to more than 144 million end-use customers in the United States.
The grid connects Americans with 5,800 major power plants and includes over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines.
The United States is home to thousands of power generating plants and systems and more than 640,000 miles of electric transmission lines.