Energy efficiency is the easiest part
- Jul 15, 2022 5:06 pm GMT
The United States needs to be more energy efficient. For years now, we’ve seen the grid overtaxed during the summer, and the problem seems to just be getting worse. Just this week, ERCOT twice asked Texans to cut back on their energy use to avoid rolling blackouts. Simply asking people to conserve electricity is not a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy, of course.
The root causes of our grid problems are not going away. The climate will continue to become more volatile, battery prices have stopped falling; killing any hope that storage would save us soon, and our transmission system continues to develop at a snail's pace thanks to flawed regulations.
Making matters worse, we are on the verge of an electric transportation revolution that will drive electricity demand up. Check out this New York Times article on the EV market:
“Vehicles that run on batteries accounted for 5.6 percent of new-car sales from April through June, still a small slice of the market but twice the share a year ago, according to Cox Automotive, an industry consulting firm. Overall, new-car sales declined 20 percent.”
What can be done? Updating our transmission system and energy markets to make power sharing more easy is fundamental. It’s also time to boost clean generation through investment in new nuclear power. Those are complicated and contentious endeavors, however. Energy efficiency, on the other hand, is low hanging fruit. Texas and other afflicted states with poor energy efficiency regulations should act fast to change them. That being said, I doubt they will.
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