It was stunning to see just how fast Sandy shut down the northeast's electrical systems, leaving people powerless in more ways than one. The storm's flip of a switch effect was because our electrical generating systems are so centralized.
Not one to mince words, Governor Cuomo called New York's electrical system "archaic and obsolete." "The utility system we have was designed for a different time and for a different place," he said, it "is a 1950s system. We're going to have to look at a ground up redesign."
The Governor is right. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last year, nuclear power plants broke open, unleashing devastating damage. The wind farms in Japan, however, survived and helped with energy shortfalls. Many gas stations in New York had tanks brimming with gasoline. The problem, in part, was the pumps didn't work. If each station was powered by solar, which can easily be done, those pumps would have helped to break the Sandy gas shortage.