Jul
19
2009

National power grid debate

Proposed power grid for wind and solar
Proposed power grid for wind and solarCourtesy U. S. Dept. of Energy

A national energy grid - good or bad

About a year ago I wrote about our need for a national energy grid. Many politicians are moving to block the lines because they hurt their local economies or because of environmental local impacts. Others claim more local improvements would be better and less costly. Read more in Technology Review's, "A Costly and Unnecessary New Electricity Grid".

A new national grid, which has been likened to the Interstate Highway System constructed in the 1950s, has been proposed by groups such as the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank, and AEP, a large utility; elements of the plans have been included in recent federal legislation.

Last week, investor T. Boone Pickens said that he's halting his planned four-gigawatt wind farm in Texas in part because of a lack of transmission lines to carry the power from the farm to urban centers.

Learn more about the national energy "smart grid"

If you have 20 minutes or so, Center for American Progress has several complete primers on the issue:

Smart appliances save electricity and money

Last Tuesday, General Electric showed utility industry executives how their new appliances could reduce electric demand and save everyone money. Read about it in Are consumers ready for the smart grid?

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