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Published on September 12th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

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US Must Socialize Grid to Add Renewable Energy, Study Finds

September 12th, 2009 by  


Successfully transitioning the United States to low‐carbon electricity will require an improved

transmission infrastructure. Cities don’t grow where there’s too much wind. The best solar is far from us in our deserts.

We need to build a supergrid like the national highway system we built in the 1930’s. But a new study finds that this might be almost impossible to do in this country. A historical legacy of Balkanized ownership of multiple tiny grids and ineffective regulatory structure has hindered upgrades to and expansion of the U.S. transmission network.

In these political times of political hysteria against any kind of national common good, it will be hard to overcome a legacy that grew out of our rugged individualism.

By contrast, China and Europe have easily added more renewable power, by socializing the grid.

A national grid solves intermittency

An interstate transmission corridor solves wind’s intermittency. The wind is always blowing somewhere. Simultaneous lulls in wind across the country hardly ever happen. So if we connect the sites, if Texas has a sudden lull, then North Dakota can fill in. Long distance interconnection lets unsynchronized peaks and troughs to cancel each other out; stabilizing wind’s contribution to the general grid.

 
 


 


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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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