Renewables are under-explored in the US due to incompetent transmission policies

Adam

The head of Grid Strategies, Rob Gramlich, stated that wind and solar technology is taking time to expand in the country because of the insufficient transmission grid policy in the US impeding its successful implementation. He explained that the experts pointed out that developers and utilities dealing with this technology are slow and skeptical before venturing this technology for fear that the costs might be high than the profits that come from it. On the other hand, grid operators revealed that the renewable energy developers continue to venture into various projects forcing them to review them before approving their connection to the grid. Sometimes, after this rigorous process, the developers may switch to another form of energy, making the previous projects’ success rate very slow.

Gramlich thinks that the systemic problems and unfavorable policies have contributed to the slow growth of renewables in the US. Other experts have explained that the increasing number of clean energy proponents and research activities might be the new force behind the rising development of renewable energy projects. However, the lack of transmission and connection to deploy the wind and solar energy from where it is generated at low prices is the primary hindrance for this sector’s growth. Another challenge is the idea of the independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) requiring the developers of the renewable energy programs to sustain the upgrades and transmission of this power to the grids before distribution to other units.

These utilities agreed to this regulation to evade cost-sharing by transferring this cost to the developers instead of the customers. Thoughtful companies started developing large scale natural gas power plants, which can be established in areas where renewables could not be created because of weather conditions or other natural disadvantages. The problem now is utilizing wind and solar projects, which in many instances are developed in distant places to meet the energy demands of 90% of the areas cited by ISOs and RTOs. Moreover, such places have the highest population, and their daily energy expenditure is high.

Another challenge is the cost of upgrading the transmission networks, which has increased by a tenth when initially it was half of the current value. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provided these details after monitoring and requesting them from many ISOs and RTOs. Nevertheless, Gramlich pointed that the regulations seem to interfere with the development of renewables in the country. They look forward to changes from the new administration led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

https://thetrustedchronicle.com/
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