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The control of a heterogeneous, widely dispersed, yet globally interconnected system is a serious technological problem. This becomes even more complex and difficult to control for optimal efficiency and maximum benefit to the ultimate consumers while still allowing all its business components to compete fairly and freely. While creating a smart grid with self-healing capabilities is no longer a distant dream, considerable technical challenges as well as several economic and policy issues remain to be addressed. To address these and other vulnerabilities, the electric power industry and all pertinent public and private sectors must work together with other critical infrastructure stakeholders. Given economic, societal and quality of life issues and the ever-increasing interdependencies among infrastructures, a key challenge is whether the electricity infrastructure will evolve to become the primary support for the 21st century's digital society or be left behind as a 20th century industrial relic.