Let's talk about the grid as it stands today, and what is at risk. Our nation's electric power infrastructure that has served us so well for so long, also known as the grid, is rapidly running up against its limitations. Our lights may be on, but systematically, the risks associated with relying on an often over text grid, grow in size, scale, and complexity every day. From national challenges like power system security to those global in nature such as climatic change, our near term agenda is formidable. So, what is at risk? Since 1982, growth in peak demand for electricity driven by population growth, bigger houses, bigger TV's, more air conditioners, and more computers, has exceeded transmission growth by almost 25 percent every year. Yet spending on research and development, the first step toward innovation and renewal, is among the lowest of all industries. While hundreds of thousands of high voltage transmission lines cross through the United States, only 668 additional miles of interstate transmission have been built since 2000. As a result, system constraints worsen at a time when outages and power quality issues are estimated to cost american businesses, more than $100 billion on average each year. In short the grid is struggling to keep up. Five massive blackouts, over the past 40 years, three of which in the past nine years. More blackouts and brownouts are occurring due to the slow response times of mechanical switches, a lack of automated analytics, and poor visibility, a lack of situational awareness on the part of grid operators. This issue of blackouts has far broader implications. Today, the irony is profound. In a society where technology reigns supreme, America is relying on the centrally-planned uncontrolled infrastructure created largely before the age of microprocessors that limits our flexibility and puts us at risk on several critical fronts. What about efficiency? If the grid where just five percent more efficient, the energy savings would equate to permanently eliminating the fuel and greenhouse gas emissions from 53 million cars. Considered this two, if every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb, Edison's pride and joy, with a compact fluorescent bulb, the country would conserve enough energy to light three million homes, and save more than $600 million annually. Opportunities are terrific. Let's see the impact on national economy. An economy relentlessly grown digital in the 1980's, electrical load from sensitive electronic equipment, such as chips and automated manufacturing was limited. In the 1990's, chip share grew to roughly 10 percent. Today, load from chip technologies and automated manufacturing has risen to 40 percent, and the load is expected to increase to more than 62 percent by 2018. What about affordability? As rate caps come off in state after state, the cost of electricity has doubled or more in real terms, less visible but just as harmful. The costs associated with an underperforming grid are borne by every citizen, yet these hundreds of billions of dollars are buried in the economy and largely unreported. Rising fuel costs made more acute by utilities expiring long-term coal contracts are certain to raise their visibility. Let's talk about security. When the blackout of 2003 occurred, the largest in US history, those citizens not startled by being stuck in dark and suffocating elevators, turned their thoughts towards terrorism, and not without cause. The grid's centralized structure leaves us open to attack. The interdependencies of various grid components can bring about a domino effect. A cascading series of failures that could bring our nation's banking, communications, traffic, and security systems among others to a complete standstill. Environment and climate change also play their role. From food safety to personal health, a compromised environment threatens us all. The United States accounts for only four percent of the world's population and produces 25 percent of its greenhouse gasses. Half of our countries electricity is produced by burning coal. A rich domestic resource, but a major contributor to global warming. If we are to reduce our carbon footprint and clean Global Environmental Leadership, clean renewable sources like solar, wind, and geothermal must be integrated into the nation's grid. Without appropriate enabling technologies linking them to the grid, their potential will not be fully realized. Regarding global competitiveness, Germany is leading the world in the development and implementation of photovoltaic solar power. Japan has similarly moved to the forefront of distribution automation through its use of advanced battery storage technology. The European Union has an even more aggressive smart grids agenda, a major component of each has buildings functioning as power plants. Generally, however, these countries don't have a legacy system on the order of the grid to consider or grapple with.