Who has the power?

by Alex Tabarrok on February 21, 2022, posted on Margin Revolution.

“The WSJ has several good piece on electric power in the United States, many of which are relevant to my recent podcast with Ezra Klein. Starting with the increased unreliability of America’s electric grid.

The U.S. power system is faltering just as millions of Americans are becoming more dependent on it—not just to light their homes, but increasingly to work remotely, charge their phones and cars, and cook their food—as more modern conveniences become electrified.

… Much of the transmission system, which carries high-voltage electricity over long distances, was constructed just after World War II, with some lines built well before that. The distribution system, the network of smaller wires that takes electricity to homes and businesses, is also decades old, and accounts for the majority of outages.

We need more power but are relying on transmission lines we put into places decades ago when we could still build things. The second WSJ article is on the 17-year travail to get a new power cable from hydropower rich Quebec to Boston.

Blackstone made other discoveries that altered the project. Its environmental consultants spent the summer of 2010 watching patches of blue lupine for endangered Karner blue butterflies and frosted elfins, a threatened species. They spotted two Karners and wrote a plan for avoiding damage to the wildflowers upon which the butterflies rely. Arrangements were also made to protect bald eagle nests that might be present during construction and identify shagbark hickories big enough for the endangered Indiana bat to roost.”

Continue reading here.

Posted by at 8:07 AM

Labels: Energy & Climate Change


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