Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Energy Challenge - Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Series -

This story in last week's New York Times points out one of the difficulties in increasing our use of wind power. We currently do not have the infrastructure needed to accommodate a large amount of wind power. Most of the places that are well suited to wind generators are in rural areas. To get power from these areas to the metropolitan areas where it is needed will take a lot of power lines that we don't have.

One of the obstacles to meeting this challenge is the design of our government, namely federalism. Most of our power grid is developed at the state level. As the New York Times notes,
in most states, rules used by public service commissions to evaluate transmission investments discourage multistate projects of this sort. In some states with low electric rates, elected officials fear that new lines will simply export their cheap power and drive rates up.
So, if we are going to take advantage of wind energy, Congress will first need to get involved to build a power grid to handle the energy produced.

The Energy Challenge - Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Series -


Tracy said...

I really hope that this will be further looked into, since new energy sources are needed & also seem to be a big part of this election. Lots of new ways of thinking & reforms will be needed.
what can the average citizen do to 'help' congress look into this?

Dr. N said...

Email your congressperson: