The only reason climate alarmists are pushing to rebuild our energy grid is to accommodate wind and solar power. Our existing grid worked just fine with traditional energy generation, even as it required maintenance to keep it operational. The “new” grid must mix with sporadic on-again, off-again sources of energy. As the “new” grid is formed, traditional energy transmission is a secondary consideration.
This article is very clear from the climate change perspective: “But as humanity responds to global warming, renewable, zero-carbon sources of energy, especially wind and solar energy, are replacing fossil fuels. That requires a new transmission grid.“⁃ TN Editor
- Most of the U.S. electric grid was built in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, over 70% of the U.S. electricity grid is more than 25 years old, and that aging system is vulnerable to increasingly intense storms.
- Also, the electric infrastructure in the U.S. was built to bring energy from where fossil fuels are burned to where the energy will be used.
- But as humanity responds to global warming, renewable, zero-carbon sources of energy, especially wind and solar energy, are replacing fossil fuels. That requires a new transmission grid.
The network of transmission lines that carry electricity across the U.S. is old and not set up to meet the anticipated demand for clean energy sources like wind and solar.
Currently, electricity generation results in 32% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, mostly from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas. Those fuels are transported and burned where electricity is needed.
But inexpensive emissions-free sources of energy, like solar and wind, are only abundant in places where the sun shines or wind blows, and that’s not necessarily close to homes and businesses. Moreover, demand for electricity is going to rise as fossil fuels are gradually replaced for a whole host of other uses, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Keeping the lights on and the air clean will require a lot of new transmission.
‘A double whammy’: Age and location
That creates “vulnerability,” the U.S. Department of Energy said in an announcement of an initiative included in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to catalyze investment in the nation’s grid.
In 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, U.S. electricity customers were without power for slightly longer than seven hours on average, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. More than five of those seven hours were during what the EIA calls “major events,” including snowstorms, hurricanes, and wildfires. That’s a significant rise from the three-to-four-hour average for outages between 2013 (the first year the data is available) and 2016, and the main culprit is extreme weather.