Recent catastrophic blackouts in New York, London, and Italy (August and September 2003) have exposed major vulnerabilities in existing generation, transmission, and distribution systems. Severe underinvestment, aging technology, and conservatism in the approach to innovation are being blamed and have created a situation where reliability of the entire system is under question. Resources need to be directed into technologies that have the potential to improve the integrity of the system; high temperature superconductivity has such potential. It also has a positive environmental impact by significantly reducing the losses as well as size and weight of the power devices.