States Strengthen Energy Infrastructure

WASHINGTON—Governors are often on the front lines of responding to natural or human-made disasters, and they also play an integral role in emergency preparedness. That includes ensuring energy supply and distribution are secure, reliable and resilient.

To help governors enhance energy assurance planning and response, the National Governors Association (NGA) today released Improving State Coordination for Energy Assurance Planning and Response, a paper that outlines key takeaways and insights from a 2015 project where NGA worked with officials from New Jersey to help teams from six states—Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Rhode Island—understand and apply lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy.

Energy assurance includes efforts to ensure secure, reliable, and resilient energy infrastructure and supply. It is a collaborative effort that relies on state, federal and local governments, as well as the private sector and nonprofit organizations. One of the most important actions a governor can take is to effectively coordinate relevant entities within the state before, during and after a disaster. Governors can improve that coordination through enhancements to energy assurance planning and information collection. Given the interdependencies between energy and other critical infrastructure sectors, such efforts play an important role in securing water, transportation, communications and health care.

Another way governors can improve their state’s energy infrastructure is by supporting greater use of advanced energy storage technologies. Those technologies, which are becoming more cost-competitive as innovation progresses and the functions of storage are better incorporated into energy markets, could have profound effects on the electric power sector, improving the reliability and resilience of the electric power grid and supporting the greater integration of intermittent renewable resources.

In a second newly released paper, State Strategies for Advancing the Use of Energy Storage, the concept of “advanced energy storage” is explored, specifically how some states have begun to use incentives, regulations and other policy approaches to support greater deployment.

To learn more about the NGA Center for Best Practices Environment, Energy & Transportation Division, click here.