(2008-08-31) Krebs Electrical Network

Valdis Krebs notes the barriers to treating the World Energy Grid like a data Network, pointing to a Ny Times article. An Energy Department plan to source 20 percent of the nation's electricity from wind calls for a high-voltage backbone spanning the country that would be similar to 2,100 miles of lines already operated by a company called American Electric Power. The cost would be high, $60 billion or more, but in theory could be spread across many years and tens of millions of electrical customers. However, in most states, rules used by public service commissions to evaluate transmission investments discourage multistate projects of this sort. In some states with low electric rates, elected officials fear that new lines will simply export their cheap power and drive rates up...(Hmm, sounds like local Protectionism.) Save for two underwater connections to Long Island, New York State has not built a major new power line in 20 years. (NIMBY)

When everyone was just using mostly the same power sources (Fossil Fuel), I could kinda see this behavior. But now when there are geographic-specific opportunities, will local groups recognize the benefits of Resilience (and cost) in having a wider power Market?

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