"Power Lines: The Next 'Green New Deal' Battlefront?"

"If the goals of the 'Green New Deal' are a political minefield, so, too, are the most likely strategies for reaching its target of very high national levels of renewable energy output.

A shelf of authoritative studies under the Department of Energy's sponsorship dating back to George W. Bush's presidency define how to take a big step in that direction. Their answer — build a network of long-distance, ultra-high-voltage transmission lines to widely share wind and solar power across the continent's time zones.

But the strategy has faced overpowering headwinds of not-in-my-backyard opposition from residents and not-through-my-state political pushback. It's also been rare for Congress to put aside partisan politics and pass major legislation facilitating transmission corridors.

'If you're going to do a 100 percent clean energy portfolio — that is really 70 to 80 percent of electric power from renewables — I don't know how you avoid huge transmission builds,' said Richard Sedano, president of the Regulatory Assistance Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank advocating a clean energy future. 'It's either that or overbuilding the system so much with surplus renewables and batteries' that consumers will be hammered."

Peter Behr reports for EnergyWire February 25, 2019.

Source: EnergyWire, 02/26/2019