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Energy resilience is the ability of the grid, buildings, and communities to withstand and rapidly recover from power outages and continue operating with electricity, heating, cooling, ventilation, and other energy-dependent services. 

A resilient power system reduces the likelihood of long-duration outages over large service areas, limits the scope and impact of outages when they do occur, and rapidly restores power after an outage. 

Power outages can be caused by extreme weather, breaches in cybersecurity, high energy demand that overloads the electric grid, failure of aging equipment, and physical interference with equipment. Grid disturbances are changes in electrical voltage and frequency on the grid that can lead to power outages. 

Energy infrastructure—facilities or equipment used to generate, deliver, process, or produce energy—that can withstand and quickly recover from disruptions in resilient infrastructure. Resilience increases energy reliability.

Clean energy can help prevent electric grid disturbances and enable fast recovery after a disturbance. Using renewable energy resources—solar, water, wind, geothermal, and bioenergy—and enhanced power electronics gives us more ways to keep the power on or bring it back after an outage. 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working to modernize and expand the electricity grid so it can integrate renewable energy and increase resilience.

Energy Resilience News


How to Increase Energy Resilience

Energy-efficient facilities and distributed energy resources, such as solar panels and battery storage, can increase energy resilience and protect public health, safety, and security.

Strong resilience measures in building energy codes can help ensure that new construction and major renovation projects can minimize energy use, maximize comfort, and enhance potentially life-saving resilience benefits. Building owners and operators, communities, and local and state governments can strategically plan to increase resilience using these resources.

The electric grid’s distribution system delivers electricity to homes and buildings. A resilient distribution system uses local resources, such as solar panels and battery storage in homes and buildings, to quickly reconfigure power flows and recover electricity services during a disturbance. DOE efforts like the Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap and the Long Duration Storage Shot will increase resilience.

The existing U.S. power system cannot withstand the impacts of climate change. DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative works with public and private partners to develop concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future.

The approach to grid modernization focuses on the integration of distributed energy resources, advanced controls, grid architecture, and emerging grid technologies at a regional scale.

Tomorrow’s homes, buildings, and factories will use less energy and put less strain on the electric grid when demand is at its peak. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funds research and development that accelerates progress toward smarter, more energy-efficient, and flexible buildings and industrial processes to enhance grid resilience.