Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    The Future of the Grid: New Transmission Projects, Electric Vehicles, and Clean Energy

    A recent report has revealed that there are 36 major transmission projects on the horizon in the United States. These projects have the potential to create up to 3.3 million jobs and support the development of as much as 187 GW of new clean energy. This news comes at a crucial time as the country looks to transition to a more sustainable and resilient grid.

    In addition to these transmission projects, two Democrats have proposed a bill aimed at building transmission lines while also lowering energy prices. They hope that this bill will gain support from Republicans, as discussions on permitting reform continue to progress slowly. Furthermore, four more utilities are pursuing membership in the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization, which will expand its efforts to operate within the Western grid.

    The electric vehicle (EV) industry is also making strides towards a cleaner future. The recent UAW strike against major automakers like Ford, GM, and Stellantis is not just about wages and benefits, but also about the future of U.S. auto production and the transition to electric vehicles. Environmental advocates are supporting the striking UAW members, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that factory workers benefit from the EV transition. However, Republican lawmakers have criticized the Biden administration’s push for EVs, citing uncertainty among U.S. auto workers.

    Despite these challenges, the EV market is steadily growing. Electric vehicles made up 5% of all U.S. auto sales last year, marking a significant tipping point. However, the slow adoption by consumers and the lack of charging infrastructure continue to hinder the full transition to EVs.

    Clean energy projects are also facing scrutiny. A former Energy Department official has raised concerns about a proposed carbon capture and storage plant in North Dakota, pointing out serious errors in its life cycle assessment. This highlights the need for a thorough assessment process as the U.S. pursues an ambitious wave of clean energy projects.

    Climate change remains a pressing issue, drawing tens of thousands of protesters to New York City to demand action ahead of the United Nations’ General Assembly meeting. Research has also revealed a correlation between racist federal housing policies and heat-related health issues in Miami’s low-income communities and communities of color. Furthermore, a United Nations report has exposed the failure of governments to ensure that Indigenous peoples benefit from global climate mitigation funds.

    In the realm of oil and gas, California has filed a lawsuit against five major corporations, claiming their actions have caused billions of dollars in damage. The lawsuit asserts that these companies downplayed the risks associated with fossil fuels.

    Other developments include Washington state regulators opting to increase incentives for electric heat pumps instead of mandating their use in new construction, as well as controversy surrounding New York City’s plan to alter zoning regulations to prioritize climate-minded projects, particularly battery energy storage systems.

    The future of the grid is intertwined with the expansion of transmission projects, the growth of the electric vehicle market, the advancement of clean energy initiatives, and the urgent need to address climate change. It is evident that these interconnected sectors require collaboration, innovative solutions, and decisive action to build a more sustainable and resilient energy system for the future.

    – Canary Media
    – E&E News
    – Utility Dive
    – Hartford Business Journal
    – New York Times
    – Politico
    – Michigan Advance
    – Washington Post
    – Inside Climate News
    – Sierra Magazine
    – Grist
    – Los Angeles Times
    – Washington State Standard
    – SI Live