New Macro Grid Initiative takes aim at America's renewable generation and delivery problem
image credit: © Nelsonpeng _ Dreamstime_com Transmission Lines.jpg
- Jun 30, 2020 8:56 pm GMT
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As America's energy infrastructure continues to age, the country's energy portfolio pushes further into modernization. It should be celebrated that coal is seeing less reliance as wind energy and solar power become ubiquitous; however, generating energy is one thing, distributing it is another.
That's the focus of the American Council on Renewable Energy's "Macro Grid Initiative," which aims to address years of deferred maintenance and refocus attention on the very real problem of the country's aging distribution infrastructure, from electricity grids to transmission lines. According to 2018 ACORE report, the 15 states between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains—Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming—account for 88% of the country's wind power technical potential, and 56% of the country's "utility scale" PV technical potential. However, the area only accounts for 30% of demand.
The generating power of this region cannot be overlooked, however, with the country's current infrastructure needs, it would be almost impossible to take full advantage of the region's potential to produce an overwhelming portion of the country's renewable energy. Without renovations of grid facilities and transmission lines, we won't be able to send this power to other parts of the country that need it.
ACORE claims that this "Macro Grid Initiative" could not only save energy consumers $47 billion, but also reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030.
The project remains in its early stages, but updating the country's transmission lines and grid infrastructure is where much of the industry's mental energy should be following the coronavirus. The strides made in renewable energy generation and our modern energy goals will be held back without modern infrastructure.