AS ENERGY GENERATION MOVES TOWARD RENEWABLES, IT NEEDS A RELIABLE SUPPLY CHAIN
- Apr 14, 2020 5:15 pm GMT
At this moment our nation is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic—causing deaths, illnesses, record ICU hospitalizations, and significant damage to not only our economy but to our very way of life. We’ve found to our dismay that a thin and fragile supply chain makes us unduly and even perilously dependent on foreign governments, companies and factories, and transoceanic transportation. If we’re to prevail, our sources of energy cannot be among them.
Among the most important institutions helping sustain us, save lives, and keep our economy running are America’s investor-owned electric and natural gas companies, regulated utilities, independent power producers, independent system operators and regional transmission operators, and the myriad of enterprises that keep America’s grid delivering safe and affordable energy.
In that same light, the nation is also moving consistently at a moderate pace away from fossil fuel generation, and in the direction of increasingly clean and sustainable energy...but fossil-generation cannot and will not disappear overnight. Still, the realities of climate change and the existential threats presented by scientifically-verified global warming have changed the equation markedly in just the last few years, and the pace of change is increasing. It's also likely that we'll see a national carbon pricing system in the model of RGGI. So, the nation marches on to develop utility-scale sources of grid-connected and dispatchable terrestrial wind, offshore wind, storage, and solar energy, while expanding and hardening our transmission and distribution systems.
The development, permitting, financing, and legal project teams who'll make this happen will need to increasingly turn to regulatory affairs experts, public and media relations professionals, public affairs advisers, digital marketing experts, former journalists, and expert storytellers for experienced and actionable advice, plans, and execution. Let's hope they approach this with acute attention to stakeholders and the general public, and for consideration of ratepayer costs. But let's hope they succeed, buttressed by a more robust and flexible supply chain that today cannot even produce a sufficient supply of medical masks.
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