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Power Grids Falling Behind

NYT

The report predicts that demand will increase by about 19 percent over the next 10 years in the United States, and slightly less in Canada, and that the construction of power plants and transmission lines to carry that load will fall far short of what is needed. In this country, utilities have contracts with new power plants for only about a third of the capacity that will be needed; in Canada, the number is about two-thirds.

They go on to blame the organization of the industry-

Planning for adequate capacity has become more difficult with the restructuring of the electric industry. Where a handful of top-to-bottom companies once generated power, transmitted it and delivered it, hundreds of companies are now involved in only one or two phases of the process. At the same time, getting permits to build new power lines has become more difficult.

The solution revolves around scaling down the entire effort. Localize electricity production and use and you won’t have to worry about providing for “Texas, New England, the Mid-Atlantic area and the Midwest.” Hopefully the lack of production will spark some more innovation along the lines of microgrids.



-Shlok
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