Age/Strain and Transmission Pain
There are Three Problematic Realities Challenging the U.S.
#1: Our Current Grid Is Outdated and Overloaded
It’s in dire need of expansion and modernization. This is particularly true as:
- Our country transitions to renewable energy
- The demand for high-speed internet increases
- The proliferation of electric vehicles generates a greater need for electricity
- Extreme weather conditions strain the grid beyond its ability to function
#2: Renewable-Energy Projects Often Fail — Before They Start
Most people support renewable energy projects, but achieving them is harder than they realize.
- Connecting to the grid is exceedingly cost prohibitive — and it can take years to facilitate. This is exacerbated by the reality that many proposed clean-energy projects are in remote locations.
- Building above-ground transmission lines to deliver power to the grid is so costly — think millions of dollars per mile — and it’s so difficult, the proposition can kill a project before it begins. This is particularly true for remote projects. Additionally, overhead transmission lines are often hazardous (and unsightly).
- Over 80% of solar and wind projects are abandoned (never built) after 3 years of development effort (and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested) in the USA due to insufficient transmission grid capacity and/or exorbitant grid upgrade costs (source).
#3: Other Infrastructure Is Aging
Additional infrastructure is aging and in dire need of repair and improvement. This includes broadband fiber, water, and transportation pipelines.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the U.S. infrastructure a C- overall grade in its most recent report.
- 11 of the 17 categories rated in the report card received a D rating.