A 21st century world is a digital world. It’s a connected world where our communities are increasingly relying on readily available and uninterrupted electricity. But with the volatile threat of outages caused by severe weather and other unprecedented events, the resilience of our energy systems is critical.

According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, renewable energy sources accounted for the largest portion of new generating capacity in 2020 and is on track to increase significantly between now and 2023.

In this episode of ASCE Interchange, Youn Sim, Ph.D., P.E., principal engineer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, discusses the surge of renewables in energy infrastructure.

“Our communities’ expectations of infrastructure have evolved so much that modern infrastructure now must serve multiple purposes,” said Sim. “This multi-benefit approach must be applied when we integrate renewable energy into our traditional infrastructure systems.”

Renewable energy encompasses a variety of sources including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. Therefore, civil engineers can integrate renewable energy into various infrastructures that have already been built – from water resources to transportation systems – in all types of communities.

As civil engineers actively work to strengthen the electric grid through resilience measures, Sim provides insight into some best practices that engineers can implement to effectively improve existing energy infrastructure.

To view all Interchange episodes, visit ASCE’s YouTube channel.