NewEnergyNews: HOW TO HAVE THE IDEAL GRID

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YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, April 14:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Differences Between Energy Markets
  • TTTA Wednesday- Biden Admin To Ensure Jobs Plan Protects Equity – DOE Head
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • SoCalEdison’s Newest Plan To Mitigate Wildfires
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: New Energy Means New Jobs
  • Weekend Video: Better Communication About The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: VW Affirms Driving Is Ready To Go Electric
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Crisis Is The World’s Biggest Worry – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Record New Energy Global Growth In 2020
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY, April 7:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Search For A Successor Solar Policy
  • TTTA Wednesday-Local Governments Still Driving New Energy
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, April 16:
  • Paying Fairer Shares In The Climate Fight
  • New Energy Can Improve Global Health Care

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    HOW TO HAVE THE IDEAL GRID

    Wired for Progress; Building the 21st-century grid needed to increase efficiency, security and renewable energy supply will require new regulatory tools and policy approaches.
    Bracken Hendricks, May 2009 (Solar Today)

    SUMMARY
    The nation will recover from its current stumbling under the burden of economic recession, unemployment, energy insecurity, climate crisis and myriad misjudgments in recent strife-torn years. HOW it recovers will determine its future competitiveness and long-term prosperity.

    Paving and reinforcing the way out with modern infrastructure, especially infrastructure that serves New Energy, will support future jobs and growth, the shift to domestic resources and low-carbon energy and it will capture new opportunity, innovation and productivity. Modern infrastructure is the foundation of solutions, whatever they turn out to be, for the short-term economic crisis and the long-term climate crisis.

    A modern electricity transmission and distribution system must be one of the cornerstones of such an infrastructure. 21ST century energy and a New Energy economy cannot be built on a 20TH century grid.

    The present U.S. grid is vulnerable to accidents and terrorism, it is inadequate to the unique needs of New Energy and it cannot be used to manage demand response or incorporate the information technology that could make electricity delivery more reliable and secure.

    The grid was designed to deliver local and regional energy supplies to localities throughout individual regions. Regulatory policies reflect that organizational concept. A national transmission system will require new federal control and coordination of policy and regulation.

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    The transmission system of the 21ST century must handle solar panel-generated electricity and small wind turbine-generated electricity at their many distributed energy locations as well as solar power plant-generated electricity and wind project-generated electricity and geothermal plant-generated electricity and wave installation-generated electricity from the tens of megawatts to the thousands of megawatts.

    It must also have high carrying capacity reaching into the little-populated sun-drenched Southwestern Deserts, the under-populated wind blown Great Plains and Pacific Northwest, the windy offshore regions of the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic Bight and the Gulf of Mexico, the ocean energy rich offshore sites of Florida’s Gulf Stream and the Pacific coast, the biomass-dense Southeast and the geothermally-endowed Mountain West.

    It must be able to accommodate the charging demands and the storage capacities of a coming national fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) equipped with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) information technology.

    click to enlarge

    21ST century transmission must be able to bring enough New Energy onto the grid and introduce ample new Energy Efficiency into the system so as to allow dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs).

    Finally, it must be able to incorporate demand response information technology and coordinate between power suppliers, grid operators and end-users.

    A new transmission system must, therefore, make 3 crucial changes in the status quo: (1) It must go where New Energy is; (2) It must have a high carrying capacity that does not get bogged down at bottlenecks as it moves from where the New Energy is to where it is needed; and (3) It must have “smart" monitoring and control technology at the utility and consumer ends of the system that does not compromise efficiency or reliability.

    The current status of the U.S. grid and the necessary changes are fully detailed in Bracken Hendricks' Wired for Progress: Building a National Clean-Energy Smart Grid.

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    COMMENTARY
    New transmission will require spending. Decades of rising demand and underinvestment in the means of delivery leaves the ratepayer no other choice if an adequate level of service is to be sustained. But the ratepayer is already paying for inadequate service.

    In the East, ratepayers may lose $16.5 billion every year to congestion. The cost of the 2003 blackout in the Northeast is estimated at $7-to-10 billion and might have been prevented by a less vulnerable and “smarter” system.

    A vulnerable, unreliable grid is a national security risk. If a wayward treebranch can cause a $7-to-10 billion loss, what kind of costs could a small band of humans with malicious intent inflict? R. James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, recently said it would be hard to intentionally design a transmission system as vulnerable as the U.S. grid.

    The grid was designed in the 20TH century to run electric lights and radios. It now supplies the Internet through which the nation conducts its business and operates its defenses. Whatever the cost to build or rebuild, new capacities, new management tools and new regulatory mechanisms are not supplementary, they are central and the investment is not optional. It must come either sooner, as a way out of the economic crisis, or later, as a way out of a crisis more desperate.

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    The necessary new transmission system can be described as a New Energy pipeline. It would include:

    (1) New Energy production at a utility scale;
    (2) An integrated, long-distance high-voltage electricity superhighway;
    (3) Smart regional grids with supply management-enabling technology to mesh New Energy and Old Energy sources and respond to peak demand periods with the cleanest mix of power available;
    (4) End-user information technology that communicates with power suppliers and grid managers, allowing demand responses in residential, commercial and industrial settings and higher efficiency choices by enabled customers;
    (5) Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology integrating New Energy storage by ever-larger fleets of plug-in transportation at public and private charging sites;
    (6) Investment in transmission that facilitates higher job standards and workforce performance to create more cost-competitive domestic manufacturing, infrastructure renewal and long-term economic development that benefits all tiers of U.S. life.

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    Federal policy changes to accommodate a new national transmission system must include:

    (1) System-wide planning, connecting across jurisdictional, state and regional boundaries for optimal integration of and distribution of New Energy;
    (2) Consolidated review and certification of siting for energy and transmission projects instead of a process that requires duplicative, multi-agency approval from unconnected permitting agencies;
    (3) Cost sharing across all users to hold down individual cost-burdens and benefit sharing among all stakeholders, large and small, to increase acceptance;
    (4) Federal financial support in the form of incentives for deployment of smart technology, financial and technical assistance for regulators and implementers and federal grants to get regional smart-grid pilot projects started yesterday;
    (5) Just as with the pipeline, the policies must make certain investment in transmission facilitates higher job standards and workforce performance to create more cost-competitive domestic manufacturing, infrastructure renewal and long-term economic development that benefits all tiers of U.S. life.

    It is likely new transmission will come at a severe and emotionally divisive cost. Congress will need to validate the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to exercise the right of eminent domain. It will not be comfortable to see access to crucial New Energy and new transmission sites obtained over vehement objections from local regulators and landowners.

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    QUOTES
    - Bracken Hendricks, author, Wired for Progress: Building a National Clean-Energy Smart Grid: “If a primary national goal is to increase the use of renewable energy to 20 percent of our total electrical supply — a potential outlined by the Bush administration’s Department of Energy — or even 25 percent, as President Obama has advocated, then we will need new infrastructure designed for the task…”
    Hendricks: “Similarly, if we want massive numbers of consumers to make smart choices about how they produce and use electricity, then they will need access to real-time information on the true costs and impacts of their energy choices and their patterns of consumption…”



    - Hendricks: “Viewing the national clean-energy smart grid in its entirety — from the generation of new renewable energy to more efficient use by consumers in their homes and offices — reveals an incredible potential to optimize the benefits of the whole system…to both get the policy right to protect our global climate and to build new political alliances to rebuild our infrastructure…”
    - Hendricks: “Through a national commitment to plan for a renewable energy economy and to build the supporting infrastructure, we have an opportunity to strengthen our economy and ensure the wealth and welfare of future generations. We have faced similar challenges before, and with this vision we can roll up our sleeves and begin again, rebuilding our energy system to create good green jobs, new markets and strong and healthy communities.”

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