Is the connection of clean energy generation to the electrical grid the biggest obstacle to combating climate change?
Why is it so difficult to connect clean energy generation to the electrical grid? Why is it so expensive? Is there a better way?
These are questions asked everyday by so many in the renewable energy game, and explored in this article from Steve Hanley and CleanTechnica.
America is deep into a campaign to make renewable energy the principle source of electricity for the entire country. Doing so is essential to lowering the amount of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere every year by generating plants powered by fossil fuels — primarily coal and natural gas. Here at CleanTechnica, we are bombarded daily with press releases trumpeting new wind and solar developments all across the country and offshore.
According to the Washington Post, there are at least 930 gigawatts of clean energy capacity and 420 gigawatts of storage waiting to be built in America today. In an interview with Energy Wire, Becca Jones-Albertus, the director of the Energy Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, says enthusiastically that within a few years, most of the solar panels America will need to reach its clean energy goals will be manufactured domestically, thanks to the huge policy push and incentives embodied in the Inflation Reduction Act.
There’s only one problem. Most of those pending renewable energy and battery storage products can’t get connected to the electrical grid, so they aren’t getting built fast enough. No one is going to buy all those American-made solar panels if those projects are put on hold or cancelled.
“It’s a huge problem,” David Gahl, executive director of the Solar and Storage Industries Institute, tells the Washington Post. “If we don’t make changes, we’re not going to meet state and federal targets for climate change.”