With No New Transmission Lines, 80 Percent of Planned Biden Emissions Reduction May Not Happen

(p. A12) . . ., compare today’s renewable energy and transmission system to one estimate of what it would take to reach the Biden administration’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2035. Transmission capacity would need to more than double in just over a decade.

There are enormous challenges to building that much transmission, including convoluted permitting processes and potential opposition from local communities.

. . .

The climate stakes are high. Last year, Congress approved hundreds of billions of dollars for solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and other technologies to tackle global warming. But if the United States can’t build new transmission at a faster pace, roughly 80 percent of the emissions reductions expected from that bill might not happen, researchers at the Princeton-led REPEAT Project found.

Already, a lack of transmission capacity means that thousands of proposed wind and solar projects are facing multiyear delays and rising costs to connect to the grid. In many parts of the country, existing power lines are often so clogged that they can’t deliver electricity from wind and solar projects to where it is needed most and demand is often met by more expensive fossil fuel plants closer to homes and businesses. This problem, known as congestion, costs the country billions of dollars per year and has been getting worse.

. . .

Utilities are sometimes wary of long-distance transmission lines that might undercut their local monopolies.

For the full story, see:

Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer. “Why America Is Not Ready for the Energy Transition.” The New York Times (Friday, June 16, 2023): A12.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 12, 2023, and has the title “Why the U.S. Electric Grid Isn’t Ready for the Energy Transition.”)

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