7. AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

US energy panel approves rule to expand transmission of renewable power

US energy panel approves rule to expand transmission of renewable power
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T
  1. US energy panel approves rule to expand transmission of renewable power  The Associated Press
  2. Landmark transmission reform could dramatically speed…  Canary Media
  3. New Rules to Overhaul Electric Grids Could Boost Wind and Solar Power  The New York Times

US energy panel approves rule to expand transmission of renewable power

Federal Energy Regulators Approve Rule to Enhance Renewable Energy Transmission

Washington (AP) – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a long-awaited rule aimed at facilitating the transmission of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, to the electric grid. This rule is a crucial component of President Joe Biden’s goal to achieve economy-wide carbon emissions elimination by 2050, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Enhancing the Aging Power Grid

The development of this rule, which has been in progress for two years, aims to strengthen the nation’s aging power grid to meet the increasing demand driven by factors such as the rise of data centers, electrification of vehicles and buildings, and advancements in artificial intelligence. As coal-fired power plants continue to be retired due to competition from natural gas and stricter federal pollution regulations, there is a growing concern about electric reliability.

The grid is also facing challenges from more frequent service disruptions caused by extreme weather events associated with climate change.

Approval and Opposition

The new rule was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a 2-1 vote. Chairman Willie Phillips and Democratic commissioner Allison Clements voted in favor, while Republican Mark Christie opposed the rule, dismissing it as favoritism towards solar and wind power operators.

Phillips emphasized that the 1,300-page rule, which addresses transmission planning and cost allocations, is essential for enhancing the country’s aging grid and ensuring reliable electricity supply for homes and businesses in the coming decades.

The Urgent Need for Action

Phillips highlighted the urgent need for action, stating that the U.S. power grid is currently at a critical juncture. He cited factors such as domestic manufacturing growth, the construction of data centers driving an AI revolution, and the increasing electrification of vehicles and buildings as contributors to the grid’s strain. Aging infrastructure, shifting economics, and extreme weather events further exacerbate the challenges faced by the grid.

Phillips also noted that the construction of high-voltage power lines reached a record low in 2022, with much of the construction being temporary fixes rather than long-term solutions for a sustainable grid.

Conflicting Priorities

Many power companies and Republican-led states are reluctant to invest in new transmission lines or upgrades for renewable energy. This creates conflicts with Democratic states that have ambitious clean-energy goals.

Christie argued that the rule fails to protect consumers and ensure reliable, affordable power for American homes and businesses. He claimed that it is a pretext for implementing a policy agenda that was not passed by Congress and would result in a transfer of wealth from consumers to wind and solar operators.

The Impact of the Rule

The new rule aims to streamline the siting of power lines and the sharing of costs between states. It has the potential to accelerate the construction of new transmission lines for renewable energy sources and significantly increase the amount of clean energy integrated into the grid. This aligns with President Biden’s goal of achieving a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions economy-wide by 2050, as outlined in the SDGs.

According to a study conducted by the Energy Department last year, the U.S. needs to more than double its current regional transmission capacity and increase transmission lines between regions five-fold to meet these targets.

The rule addresses the current limitations on connecting utility-scale renewables to the grid due to insufficient transmission capacity. It updates the agency’s planning process and seeks to determine how costs will be allocated when transmission crosses state lines and involves multiple regional power grid operators.

Support and Opposition

White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi praised the FERC rule for advancing clean energy efforts and improving regional transmission planning. He stated that it will break down barriers to grid expansion and support the delivery of more affordable and reliable power.

Clements, the Democratic commissioner, described the rule as a common-sense approach that promotes advanced planning, reliability, affordability, and cooperation with states.

However, Christie challenged the agency’s authority to promote specific policies and criticized the rule for going beyond FERC’s legal jurisdiction.

Achieving Clean and Cost-Effective Electricity

Democrats and clean-energy advocates welcomed the new rule as a means to bring clean and cost-effective electricity to the grid. They believe that building more multi-state transmission lines will alleviate congestion on the electricity infrastructure and enable the country to meet its growing energy needs.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized that the rule builds upon the clean-energy incentives outlined in the landmark climate law approved by Democrats in 2022. He highlighted the importance of transmitting renewable energy from generation sites to communities across the country to ensure the success of clean energy initiatives.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

The article discusses the need to upgrade the power grid to accommodate the increasing demand for renewable energy, which aligns with SDG 7. It also mentions the electrification of vehicles and buildings, which relates to SDG 9. The article highlights the challenges faced by the power grid during extreme weather events driven by climate change, connecting to SDG 11. Lastly, the article mentions President Biden’s goal to eliminate carbon emissions economy-wide by 2050, which falls under SDG 13.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
  • SDG 9.1: Develop quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure.
  • SDG 11.5: Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities.
  • SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

The article emphasizes the need to enhance the power grid to accommodate renewable energy sources, which aligns with SDG 7.2. It also highlights the importance of upgrading infrastructure to meet surging demand and ensure reliability, connecting to SDG 9.1. The challenges faced by the power grid during extreme weather events relate to the need for resilient infrastructure, supporting SDG 11.5. Lastly, the article mentions President Biden’s goal to eliminate carbon emissions, which aligns with SDG 13.2.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Percentage increase in the share of renewable energy in the energy mix
  • Number of infrastructure upgrades and investments in the power grid
  • Reduction in power outages and disruptions during extreme weather events
  • Integration of climate change measures into national energy policies and planning

The article does not explicitly mention specific indicators, but progress towards the identified targets can be measured using indicators such as the percentage increase in the share of renewable energy in the energy mix, the number of infrastructure upgrades and investments in the power grid, the reduction in power outages and disruptions during extreme weather events, and the integration of climate change measures into national energy policies and planning.

4. Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Percentage increase in the share of renewable energy in the energy mix.
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure 9.1: Develop quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure. Number of infrastructure upgrades and investments in the power grid.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 11.5: Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities. Reduction in power outages and disruptions during extreme weather events.
SDG 13: Climate Action 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Integration of climate change measures into national energy policies and planning.

Copyright: Dive into this article, curated with care by SDG Investors Inc. Our advanced AI technology searches through vast amounts of data to spotlight how we are all moving forward with the Sustainable Development Goals. While we own the rights to this content, we invite you to share it to help spread knowledge and spark action on the SDGs.

Fuente: apnews.com

 

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