Reading the energycentral news this morning, the following quote caught my eye: “Much to the chagrin of industry insiders, the conversation surrounding a move towards renewables far too often centered around generation. How we were supposed to transport that clean energy was rarely mentioned in mainstream news coverage or in the statements of optimistic politicians.“

The fact is we do not have the infrastructure to move renewables from where they are generated to the loads. This has very interesting ramifications. It will dramatically increase price volatility as more generation competes to get through the limited transmission capacity and we continue to retire baseload plants located near the load centers. Secondly, it will increase outages and rolling blackouts as bad demand outstrips deliverable renewable capacity and the grid gets overloaded.

Will it work out? Sure eventually, but the interim is going to be very challenging, with high price volatility and reliability issues. The following quote sums up the situation nicely:

“It took 150 years to build the electric grid we have today. To complete the transition to renewables, we must triple our grid capacity over the next 30 years equaling 200,000 miles of new transmission. Over the last decade, we’ve built about 1,800 miles per year, and only 386 miles in 2021. In the U.S., it takes more than ten years to complete a transmission line.”

You need to prepare for a rocky transition.

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