A new report by WIRES, the international trade association that encourages investment in all aspects of the high voltage grid, highlights the concerns that without strategic and timely expansion of transmission infrastructure, the ability to meet clean energy mandates and goals may be in jeopardy.
The study prepared on WIRES’ behalf by ScottMadden, delivers a region-by-region analysis of renewables integration and resilience issues. “Informing the Transmission Discussion” also explores regional resilience concerns due to extreme weather events and limitations in the energy supply, and makes interregional recommendations for renewables integration and grid hardening.
“The last few years have seen an ambitious expansion in clean energy mandates and goals,” said Larry Gasteiger, Executive Director of WIRES.
“It is clear that we need to match those ambitions with an equally strong commitment to strategic transmission infrastructure to ensure the delivery of new energy resources. At the same time, we are seeing increasing risks and challenges to maintaining the resilience of the grid. The varying regional needs and the level of complexity and planning required to meet them, are driving WIRES’ and its members’ sense of urgency to address the transmission challenge.”
The report projects more than 600 terawatt hours (TWh) to 714 TWh of mandated clean energy demand by 2030, comparing this demand to the regional forecasts for wind and solar supply, noting opportunities for intra-regional, and inter-regional import and export of supply. A 2019 report prepared for WIRES by the Brattle Group estimated the need for USD 30-90 billion in incremental investment in new transmission infrastructure by 2030 to connect all of the new generation resources and ensure resilience.
Transmission is critical to meeting our evolving clean energy and resilience objectives,” said Cristin Lyons, partner and energy practice leader at ScottMadden. “However, in spite of its essential role, transmission infrastructure remains extremely difficult to site and build. If we are to meet the myriad clean energy goals and increase the resilience of the grid, more transmission is necessary and policy should facilitate its development.”
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