Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

A Renewable Future versus A Bureaucratic Past

insideturbine040 We hear a lot these days about the drive to implement renewable energy solutions. Companies and governments alike are looking to solar and wind generation as a way to not only cut costs, but to help the environment. Wind farms are popping up left right and center across the United States, and people are getting excited about a possible future independent of fossil fuels.

Sadly, that enthusiasm is also running up against a very solid and very old wall; bureaucratic red tape and shoddy designs.

The current power distribution system set up in the United States is currently run by about 500 owners, is a hundred years old, and is designed around helping prop each other up in the case of emergencies. What it is not designed to do, is to take a large amount of power and safely store or transport it.

You would think this would have been a justifiable goal for a power distribution system, but I guess things were different.

What is worse is that the sheer amount of red tape that stands in the way of change is mind-boggling. Any change to the system would require the involvement of multiple power companies, multiple state and local governments, and a mass of permits.

As T. Boone Pickens told Congress, “If you want to do it on a national scale, where the transmission line distances will be much longer, and utility regulations are different, Congress must act.”

The New York Times ran an article recently looking, specifically, at problems such as the one facing the residents of Maple Ridge in upstate New York. The developers of the Maple Ridge wind-farm were hoping to make money by producing electricity, but the fluctuations in the power levels sometimes force the entire grid to be shut off, to save it from becoming too congested.

In other words, light to steady winds might be ok, but start turning the wind turbines a bit too fast, and the electrical generation will become too much for the system to handle.

The only option, and one that is not out of the realm of possibility given the environmental fervor these days, is for Congress to allow sweeping changes across the country. Expensive, sure, but in the long run, beneficial.

Image Courtesy Maple Ridge Wind Farm

More from the GO Network

New(ish) Method for Storing Wind Energy Explored
Wind Applications Center Finds Home at Montana State U
New York City: Wind Energy Powerhouse?

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

The 2022 U.S. midterm elections provided historically surprising results. They were atypical in many ways, which is actually typical (in some ways) of the...

Clean Power

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) congratulates newly elected governors, state lawmakers and members of Congress who will play an...


Every year, it is spring forward in the spring and it is fall back in the fall in the U.S., which then starts the...

Green Economy

I wrote an article a few days ago titled “Inflation Is Global — For Obvious Reasons (That Have Nothing To Do With Joe Biden).”...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.