Y2K and the Power Grid

December 2, 1998

The last few commentaries I have been talking about the Y2K problem, and I thought I might address one more issue here. When I moderate various debates and briefings I am struck by the wide divergence of opinion. Some experts believe this will be a relatively minor problem, while others believe that it will be a major disruption in our lives. In the audience, I often find some people who are planning to sell their house, buy lots of food and grain, and live off the land for years.

Why the wide divergence of opinion? Most people have the same set of facts, but they come to some strikingly different conclusions. I believe the watershed issue is the power grid. If you think the power grid will stay intact, then you are likely to see Y2K as a minor disruption. If you think the power grid will fail, you are likely to see a scary scenario in the future. It's just about as simple as that.

Each day we receive electrical power through an infrastructure which is a marvelous and complex creation. It includes some six thousand generating plants and five hundred thousand miles of bulk transmission cable.

The entire system is controlled by mainframe computers and divided into four electrical grids supplying Texas, the eastern states, the midwestern states, and the northwestern states. All are interconnected in Nebraska.

So what will happen to the power grid a little over a year from now? Most experts believe that the grid will stay intact, but there might be regional power outages for awhile. But a few believe the power grid will fail and that is why they are planning for the worst case scenario. How you come down on that issue will determine what you think will happen 13 months from now.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International