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Does the EU Provide a Way for the US on Grid Management?

Todd Carney's picture
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Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

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  • Jan 20, 2023
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The European Union often functions much like the United States of America in the sense that there often needs to be a unifying policy that accounts for the needs of each state in order to accomplish a goal. 

Like the US, the EU has faced energy issues. In response to the energy problems, the EU established an agreement that standardizes certain policies. It remains to be seen whether the US should also adopt this kind of policy. 

The EU established methods that would make it easier for companies in different states to sell across their borders, which could hopefully allow for broader filling of shortages throughout the EU. This is especially important as they are moving away from Russia as an energy source. 

The agreement also provides funding and coordination for the security of the energy sources throughout the EU. This is important in the face of natural disasters and potential threats from rogue nations or individuals.

Another element is for there to be increases in gas prices based on average prices. The EU is continuing to look for ways for the prices to increase more swiftly. Similarly, they have an initiative that will stop out of control daily price changes on energy to protect consumers further. This regulation gives the EU’s government strict oversight on potential changes.

A particularly interesting program in regard to the grid, is that the plan will speed up development of renewable energy programs. In local zoning considerations, the need for renewable energy can be considered more important than other public concerns. The agreement also mandates that solar energy permit approval processes take no longer than three months. It puts a similar approval process limit on renewable energy plants, and for deploying heat pumps. 

All of these initiatives may seem promising, but some are very conceptual, so there is no guarantee that they will work even in the EU. Other initiatives would not work in the US because there is not the same tight control on energy pricing by the government that exists in the EU. As for renewable energy, a reduction in permit times is something people generally like for any process, provided safety is still maintained. But if the technology is not there yet, then it could all be for nothing. This is something the US has seen repeatedly with renewable energy projects. So maybe this EU plan can be a lesson in both what to do and what not to do.

 

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