One year after Sandy, DOE official touts need for reliable energy grid

A senior Energy Department official said on Wednesday that one year after Hurricane Sandy rocked the East Coast, a "reliable, survivable, energy system is a requirement" now more than ever.

Bill Bryan, the deputy assistant secretary for infrastructure security and the energy restoration said the Department of Energy (DOE), is looking to identify all gaps in the grid that became apparent after the storm.

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There are a billion more response plans now, Bryan said at a policy breakfast hosted by The Hill and power company ABB, and federal agencies are working with the industry to help develop better technology that eases transitions during a crisis.

Bryan said climate change has effected companies and the DOE handling the grid.

"There is not doubt there is climate change activity," Bryan said. "But we have to look across the country and see how the climate is changing and take a regional approach."

But when it comes to approving electric grid policies and standards, Bryan noted there is "no silver bullet."

"Collaboration and partnership is needed," Bryan said. "We are working in the government at all levels to make the grid more prepared. We are talking to utilities on the ground to see what their needs are."

After Sandy, roughly 80 percent of those who lost power had it restored within in five days, Bryan said. This time around, it would be faster.