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Biden emission reduction goals could triple reliance on electric grid

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  • A "massive transformation" of the electric sector will be needed to meet President Biden's decarbonization goals, which could triple U.S. reliance on its power grid, says Daniel Brooks, the Electric Power Research Institute's VP of integrated grid and

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Comments (282)

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The string of comments below my post from a few days ago imply that I'm rather ignorant. Perhaps I am. But how are railroad cars and pipeline efficiencies MATERIALLY related to the idea that I posited? I simply pointed out that I believe that there will not be enough electricity from green energy sources (at least in next five years) to fill the incremental electrical needs arising from millions of electric cars entering the overall car population. I'm sorry to disappoint any who feel the need for a stack of charts and published research in order to consider making an effort to see the forest from the trees.

The only thing that matters is the caveat in your comment

"in the next 5 years"

I agree it's unlikely and more probably impossible. But like Biden's vaxx mandate or eviction moratorium, the policy goal isn't successful implementation and goal achievement, but merely am aspirational push in the intended direction.

In both the vaxx mandate and the moratorium Biden admitted he didn't have the legal authority to implement them but hoped that by the time the courts got around to slapping him down enough progress would have been made to make a difference.

That's likely the goal here too, where whoever's Pres in 5 years will make a decision to either delay or eliminate the goal implemented under this administration.
They want us living in tents groveling for government scraps.
"Don't look up!"
The Federal Government (Biden) trails most of the rest of the country based on population and economic output. The transition to a low carbon economy by cities, states, corporations and utilities is happening in plain sight www.arcgis.com/...
jbfiacco profile picture
The wokeness of government policy assures failure in the transition to renewables. Invest as you see fit, vote as you see fit but… prepare you and your family for rolling blackouts.
@jbfiacco you mean like in Republican Texas las t winter?
@estellaxtw Perfectly illustrative of the folly of revolutionary change in basic infrastructure of civilization instead of evolutionary change which has worked well in the past.
@estellaxtw - Add Democrat California too! Or is that truth too painful for you?
Buy only companies with generation. Especially in the South where everyone is moving. Nee, So Duke. Many etf's are too broad and dont have a focus on generation.
I have been thinking about this for some time, yet this is the first article I have seen on topic. How will countries moving to electric cars generate all the incremental electricity required? I would bet that some of that additional electrical capacity will come from coal, oil and gas. What do y'all think?
@DavidAlanBruck Even if it would come from those it still would be less co2 intensive.
@estellaxtw - huh?

Pipelines are less carbon intensive than railroad cars. Electricity has power line losses. The further the transmission distance, the greater the losses.

So how do you arrive at your conclusion?
@64MGB You seem to have no clue? About 6% – 2% in transmission and 4% in distribution . Not more.
Biden/Harris need to be removed from office, what a farce. comedy at its worst
ephud profile picture

If they were removed, Nancy would be President...
@ephud - Yikes!
There seems to be a lot of rancor and cynicism surrounding EVs and increased load on the grid. Instead of sending our money to unfree petrostates so that petrocarbons can be drilled, transported, refined, transported/stored and then sold to power our vehicles, why not use existing power generation where US electric rates are amongst the cheapest in the world? We can surely add to our load capacity with market and policy based solutions affording lower costs per MwH as tech and scale improve. EVs become net green after 20k miles of use. The electric comes from grids that are running 24/7 anyway. The tech will improve to allow for faster charging, range, and more charging station density overtime. I would love my kids to breathe cleaner air and for all of this investment to afford good paying jobs here in the USA with labor, legal and environmental protections.

Inflation is a problem yes. Can it all really be penned on politics though? High inflation seems to be the story globally with supply shortages in the midst of a pandemic with high demand all over. The economy is also red hot with unemployment at a low rate. Just things to consider in the national interest.
@avariciousaquisitor Where do you think the vast majority of all of the materials come from to manufacture batteries, solar panels and wind turbines? For that matter, where are these manufactured? Hint: not the U.S. Get educated.
@filly1776 Thanks for the comment. At the same time, get some manners.

With the supply chain stoppages, there might be some real opportunity to reestablish manufacturing capability here in the U.S without having to rely on imports reversing decades of policy. We have the raw materials and now just need the political willpower.
@avariciousaquisitor Sir - If you don't want to listen to me because of my bad manners, so be it. The fact is, we don't have anywhere close to the amount of raw materials we need to convert. We will have to import nearly all of them. We can't re-establish manufacturing for these items because of business and environmental rules. There is a reason the supply chain is completely controlled by China. It is more than just political willpower. If we attempt to go 100% "green" energy we will all be much poorer in the future.
TAS profile picture
You have got to be kidding.
Bruce Miller profile picture
Biden speaking into a microphone about what we must do carries less weight with me than listening to my 4 year old grand-daughter on what we must do.

Let's remember, EV electric demand is in addition to the 'normal' demand placed on the grid. That is, EVs are not replacing something else that requires electricity. So for those grids that barely or simply don't meet demand at various times of high demand, are going to be under the greatest duress for power generation. Will roof panels or off-shore wind farms make up for this as EVs rise as a % of registered vehicles? A failure to do this will result in periodic rolling black-outs or being forced to buy power from generators who burn LNG or coal, defeating the purpose of the EV.

This is a complicated space that does not lend itself to the uber-simplistic utterances that emanate from the likes of Biden and his woke followers.

only about 20 or 25% of the electrical grid comes from renewable sources so all of this environmental BS can be ignored.

Does it really make a difference if someone uses natural gas at their home or if it is being used by the electric company to generate the electricity that heats their home? Yes, because it is much more energy efficient to generate heat using natural gas in the home then to go about it in a very roundabout fashion through the power company

The greenies always drive to the solution that seems good on the surface but is actually worse, because they really aren’t that bright usually. Lots of people whose logical left brains are under developed and got degrees in useless fields or maybe no degree at all but claim they are experts on energy
TommyIrish profile picture
"Biden emission reduction goals"

No more hot air?
Seems as though from the majority of comments that the belief in globul warming is waning. Change is gonna come?
Long Tail Of Finance profile picture
OK, so yeah, the grid needs to be upgraded or replaced. Big deal. Did you expect it would be cheap and easy?
If every Government worker and media outlet had to generate electricity off a treadmill for the same amount of time they spend talking. I think we could put this climate change thing to rest.
Possible diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity as well.
@NIRP Now that is a good one! Thanks for the chuckle they would actually make a worthy contribution to society at that point lmao all the while despise being made to actually have to do some real work! BTW I would sign up as a supervisor for that! Donate my paycheck to the Shriners organization for the kids!
James Hanshaw profile picture
I have my doubts that such goals will be remotely reached. The existing grid is mostly overloaded and rotten. Nearly 4 years ago I wrote an article on this and things have worsened since seekingalpha.com/...
It's not just the autos, Biden admin and climate activism has been pushing folks into electric heat pumps for heating too.

If you go with a heat pump for heating you also end up with electric for hot water...

Autos, hot water and heating all together make for a big jump on grid demand.

I've been testing a electric heat pump replacement for a gas fired central air system this winter in NY for cost and efficiency and I'm so far pretty impressed at the technology on both price and performance. I'll likely install more.

My real concern in the electrification push however is that I'm watching $F (no position) and thinking there's a lot of bullishness in the autos, and anticipation they will clear their semiconductor problems, but I expect the real strain in global materials will be batteries. Huge pending demand in batteries may lead to cost overruns for automakers looking to implement the new Biden admin cafe standards and take advantage of the Biden EV push.

$RIO is getting into lithium and has been priced well, I have been buying.
@kmi Congrats for your wise decision to use an electric heat pump, instead of Natural gas. The funny thing about the electrification is that you will need less energy than the conventional way.
With the amount of gas you were using previously, you can heat three homes of your home's size.
If we would just burn natural gas in order to produce electricity to run heat pumps, we would be three times more effective. The Coefficient of performance is around 3.
ephud profile picture

Heatpumps don't work below about 38 degs F.

"The funny thing about the electrification is that you will need less energy than the conventional way."

I can't speak to usage of 'energy' but I can say that last year I was using straight electric space heaters while we installed the ductwork/equipment and the heat pump is cheaper by like 5-6x.

Versus gas, the cost is a little more expensive but I anticipate less maintenance for a wash.

For emergencies, lacking underground gas piping which is more resilient that pole carried wires is a question but there isn't much can be done about that.

When time comes to add an EV charger to that property we'll likely need to factor in a service upgrade.
Mountain Marmot profile picture
Unless you have memory from four decades past, it may not fully resonate, but I implore ALL SA users, i.e., Capitalists, i.e., Investors to read "Atlas Shrugged". Albeit, a massive undertaking in a soundbite/PDA checking/frenetic driven society.
ephud profile picture
@Mountain Marmot

It was made into a 3 part movie. I think it's available on youtube.
Mountain Marmot profile picture
Which is just perfect for those who are unable/unwilling to read.
billrla profile picture
@Mountain Marmot Great book. Changed my worldview. Not the finest literature (as artistic writing), but, if you can plow through the turgid prose, the message is profound.
History repeats itsself as regards to Marxism and the end result. Those facilitating it's implementation in any way are enemies of America and need to be viewed as such.
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