The AC Electrical Grid: Transitions into the Twenty-First Century


This essay discusses the history and future of the AC electrical grid. Despite the complexity of the electrical grid, electricity has become ubiquitous to the point that, in modern societies, it is taken for granted. In the twenty-first century this will be different. It will no longer be possible to ignore cost and environmental impact, and the continued availability of affordable electricity will no longer be a given. The AC grid is inherently unstable and vulnerable. The article therefore argues that the DC power generation and distribution pioneered by Edison can make a comeback.