The two greatest threats the United States (and other nations) face could be solved by a single infrastructure project that could be done now with existing technology. The threat the Democrats see is climate change. The threat the Republicans see is terrorism on a massive scale.
Not only can the US save money on its electricity by moving to a 48-state power network based on high voltage DC power lines, writes Christopher Clack. It’s also the key to increasing the penetration of renewables as the lowest cost energy source, with wind and solar delivering 55% of the nation’s electricity demand – and a 78% reduction in carbon emissions.
Carbon dioxide emissions from generating electricity could be cut by 78 percent within the next 15 years if the country makes the same Herculean effort to expand solar and wind technology that it did to build the Interstate Highway System.
Days ahead of the first presidential caucus in Iowa, Peter Vincent Pry went to the Hawkeye state to brief presidential candidates about his life’s work — preventing a nationwide blackout of the power grid.
High-voltage direct-current transmission lines hold the key to slashing greenhouse gases.
All forms of energy would be allowed to compete on a level playing field, with cost determining the penetration of various energy sources into a newly created national market. Bayless echoed the need to address the shortcomings associated with limited grid resiliency, making the case for the instantaneous transmission of electricity to improve electricity reliability.
Democrats would approve the idea because it could mitigate climate change. Republicans, MacDonald thinks, might be attracted because the HVDC lines could be buried underground, giving improved national security protection for the nation’s power system. Underground cables would be shielded from a particular type of nuclear weapon attack — called an electromagnetic pulse — that could otherwise overload power lines and cause severe damage to electronic control equipment over large areas. Buried power lines would also be more protected from solar flares and terrorist attacks.
Most importantly, access to the densest pools of wind and solar energy will make the capital costs of windmills, dams and solar farms easier to bear, bringing down the cost of electricity for everyone. That would be super.