Lack of US Transmission Lines

David Roberts writes about this in a series of posts on his new David Roberts writes about this in a series of posts on his new “Volts” mailing list.

First he notes why this topic is important. As in many other places that want to add massive renewable capacity, people find out that good locations for generating may be far away from where people want to use the electricity.

This means more transmission. And Roberts will write the whole week about what the new administration can do to help.

I have one comment here only, since I have been thinking about exactly this point for about a decade now.

Of course you want to build more transmission. But there are different ways to transport energy too.

The simplest thing is to just start mining bitcoins. You can do that anywhere on the planet. So while you wait for Roberts’ and Biden’s efforts to build more transmission, your stranded renewable project can still generate income, even before you get in line for grid connection.

Another traditional way to do it would be to make aluminum. That industry has a long history of placing their factories where the cheap energy is. And transporting the aluminum is a way of transporting energy.

Other ways that come to mind is using limestone or ammonia like in the Neom Helios project.

Anyway, while it is true that all things equal having more transmission is a good idea, that does not mean you need to wait for the world wide power grid. There are a lot of ways to monetize renewable energy without a grid connection. Bitcoin is only the easiest and fastest solution.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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