Saturday, September 6, 2014

We need an alternative energy grid | TheHill

The specter of climate change relentlessly haunts the news. Just in the last month, the Council of Economic Advisors released a report estimating that each decade we wait to reduce emissions increases the cost of meeting carbon standards by 41 percent, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the cost of inaction on climate change, and even bastions of the financial community like former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin are issuing similar warnings. To avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, we must drastically cut fossil fuel consumption and replace that energy with renewable alternatives. Given this, we need to focus our attention and efforts on determining the best strategies to move forward for the next five years and the next fifty.
The good news is that the U.S. has an abundance of renewable energy resources. The sun shines hot and long in the South and West, wind howls in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, and the water runs freely in the Northwest. The bad news is that the U.S. power grid is not designed to integrate many of these resources, even though today’s renewable technology could provide enough power to match national electricity demand.

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