The US electric grid is outdated and needs a major overhaul if it is to carry electricity generated by renewable energy sources, a senior official with Southern California Edison (SCE) told the US Congress.

The Obama administration has called for doubling the amount of US electricity produced by renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, during the next three years to reduce greenhouse emissions.

However, a so-called ‘smart’ grid will be needed to transmit those power supplies from where they are generated in remote areas to consumers and businesses in cities.

The electricity infrastructure delivering power from a variety of generating sources to our homes, businesses and communities is not suitable for today’s needs,” SCE’s vice president for advanced technology, Paul De Martini told Reuters.

SCE is a subsidiary of Edison International, one of the largest US electric utilities that serves nearly 14 million people.