Everyone wants electricity, but no one wants new power lines in their backyard. That’s a problem and it’s the topic of today’s CNNMoney.com column.
The electricity grid has been called the greatest accomplishment of 20th century engineering, but it badly needs an upgrade. This is an environmental issue, as well as a question of reliability, because only with a robust, flexible and smart grid can electrons from clean, renewable sources move freely around the nation to compete with fossil fuels.
The story begins like this:
Here’s an idea that won’t spark much controversy: To provide clean, reliable and affordable energy, and to effectively fight global warming, America needs to upgrade its electricity grid.
The GridWise Alliance, a coalition to promote a stronger grid, counts among its members the nation’s big utility companies, as well as GE, IBM, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy.
But just try to build a new high-capacity transmission line – and you can’t upgrade the grid without new power lines – and you’ll get not only controversy, but protests, lawsuits, efforts to sidestep the regulatory process and acts of Congress, if opponents get their way.
Some of the opposition comes from people who call themselves environmentalists – even though new power lines will enable development of renewable energy sources, particularly wind power.
You can read the rest here.