Nearly 800GW of U.S. energy is queued up but unable to connect to the grid
- Oct 13, 2021 2:09 am GMT
It seems we are producing new sources of energy faster than we know what to do with it, or at least faster than we're able to figure out just what to do with it.
According to a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. has 755GW of electricity generation stuck in interconnection queues, and about 680GW of that bottlenecked energy is zero-carbon energy and only 13% of the energy has a solidified interconnection agreement.
It's not that there is not a need for that energy, it's rather that we are unable to get that energy where it's needed most. The U.S. energy's regulatory landscape is complex and thus our ability to build out the nation's grid to receive this energy takes clearing significant bureaucratic hurdles. Widespread investment in transmission infrastructure is also needed, which presents its own political and bureaucratic obstacles.
It is a race we are running at the speed of government, which is to say we are not running at all. We are crawling. Expansion of interregional transmission would go a long way in clearing this energy traffic jam, but how that is paid for and coordinated remain large question marks that have taken a trunk seat to the fight happening over the infrastructure bill. It seems that we have proven prowess at developing sustainable alternative energy forms that can take us from fossil fuels but now we have to shift our focus to the less sexy transmission and interconnection questions, questions which are unlikely to trend on social media or grab headline attention.
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