Friday, September 5, 2008

Century-old infrastructure hampers new energy policies

How are the Democrats or Republicans planning to deal with this? That our antiquated, byzantine transmission grid needs work/overhaul/replacement isn't even "controversial" like global warming or peak oil. I guess it's just less sexy than killing brown skinned folks in a country we can't find on a map. And until the greedheads find a way to make exorbitant profits from changing the grid, it, like most other remnants of public infrastructure, will continue to fall apart and become increasingly inadequate. Just like our electorate.
clipped from
That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.
The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads.

“We need an interstate transmission superhighway system,” said Suedeen G. Kelly, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Politicians in Washington have long known about the grid’s limitations but have made scant headway in solving them.
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