Green Transmission Superhighway Needed for Renewable Energy to Reach Full Potential
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have released a white paper titled "Green Power Superhighways: Building a Path to America's Clean Energy Future," detailing current inadequacies of the U.S. electric transmission infrastructure and offering policy solutions to address them.
Inadequate transmission capacity is a significant barrier to renewable energy development in the U.S. The release of the paper comes at a critical time. President Obama and Congress have made strong commitments to renewable energy as a driver for jobs creation and economic growth, but the nation’s renewable energy resources can not reach their full potential without renewed investment in the country's transmission infrastructure.
"Just as President Eisenhower's vision of a modern interstate highway system transformed commerce and transportation in our nation, the benefits of this kind of investment by our generation will far exceed the costs. We need a modern electron superhighway to power our nation's 21st century economy with clean, renewable energy," Bode said. Bode said that close to 300,000 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity is held up in the pipeline due to transmission limitations. Resch echoed her comments, saying installing transmission will require a cohesive plan from federal, state, and local interests. Additional transmission capacity will be neccessay to reach President Obama's goals.
"President Obama has issued the bold challenge to double renewable energy generation in the U.S. in three years. This will not be achieved without renewed investment in our electric transmission infrastructure to ensure that the regions with the best solar resources are connected to population centers where they are needed most," Resch said. "At the same time, new investments will create thousands of good-paying jobs in areas hard hit by the recession."
Click here to download a copy of the white paper.
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