Thursday, April 16, 2009

“GRID: National renewable power goals pose daunting challenges, officials say”

From E&E News' ClimateWire via the Climate+Energy Project blog:

From E&E News (subscrip. only), by Peter Behr:

The vast expansion of wind and solar power planned by the Obama administration and congressional leaders is fraught with challenges for the nation’s aged electricity network, grid monitors with the North American Electric Reliability Corp. say.

But a NERC report released today does not call for a slowdown in deployment of renewable energy. Officials expressed confidence that technology solutions will arrive in time.

“I am extremely confident we will be successful,” said Mark Lauby, a NERC director of reliability assessments who briefed reporters yesterday. If there is a limiting factor in renewable power growth, it will be the inability to add enough transmission lines to accommodate new wind, solar and other renewable generation resources, he said.

The NERC report is a response to policy proposals now before Congress. Non-hydro renewable power now supplies less than 2 percent of the nation’s electricity. A Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee bill would require utilities to deliver 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021, starting with a 4 percent target in 2012.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s version starts at 6 percent in 2012 and climbs to 25 percent in 2025. A portion of the targets could be satisfied through increased energy efficiencies.
No one knows the ‘magic number’ of renewable capacity....MORE