Trends creating reliability concerns or (10 steps to becoming a less reliable utility)

TitleTrends creating reliability concerns or (10 steps to becoming a less reliable utility)
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsJim Burke
Conference NameTransmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, 2001 IEEE/PES
Conference LocationAtlanta, GA

For the past 35 years, my experience has been that utilities have always made a concerted effort to provide reliable power to their customers. Manufacturers, too, have competed on the basis of creating better products having better reliability, operability and features. Recent trends have been disturbing. It would appear that while reliability and power quality are getting a lot of publicity, the overall picture would indicate that reliability will degrade in the not too distant future. This short paper addresses the following 10 trends that the author feels will create a power system having many of the poor reliability characteristics utilities have been so successful in avoiding over these years:

  • Elimination of experienced engineers
  • Reduction of participation in standards activities
  • Loss of control over generation and transmission
  • Decaying infrastructure
  • Purchase of products purely on the basis of price
  • Elimination of R&D
  • Severe reduction of budgets and manpower
  • Overloading equipment
  • Loss of control over daily activities
  • Adoption of an "Not in My Backyard" policy