Statement by Reid Detchon, Executive Director, Energy Future Coalition On the "Clean Energy Superhighways" bill, electricity transmission legislation introduced today by Representative Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)
April 30, 2009
"The bill would be a major step towards getting renewable energy from points of mass production to points of mass consumption. It includes important provisions to unlock the clean, low-cost potential of renewable energy sources, including a regional planning process that incorporates a wide array of stakeholders, broad cost allocation, and authority for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site these new transmission lines if the states do not.
"Producing and moving energy are inextricably linked; without new transmission capability, there won't be a corresponding boost in renewable energy production. Through his continued leadership on renewable energy and transmission issues, Congressman Inslee has made a significant contribution with his bill, and he can work to ensure that energy and climate legislation containing these important provisions moves forward."
The Energy Future Coalition has worked with more than 50 stakeholders to reach a consensus on the key elements of transmission planning, siting, and cost allocation to help bring renewable resources into the marketplace – and ultimately to our nation's homes and businesses.
Going forward, the following concerns must be addressed:
- Interconnection-wide grid planning should not duplicate or supplant already ongoing planning efforts at the utility and regional level, but rather should build on them.
- The interconnection-wide planning process should take into account: opportunities for improved end-use energy efficiency, customer demand response, clean distributed generation, and energy storage; opportunities to improve the efficiency of the grid; and opportunities to diversify and transform the Nation's power supply resources.
- New transmission plans should dramatically enhance our capacity to meet steep greenhouse gas emission reduction goals by targeting new clean renewable energy resources and limiting interconnection for new high-emitting generation (while still ensuring reliability).
About the Energy Future Coalition
The Energy Future Coalition is a broad-based, nonpartisan alliance that seeks to bridge the differences among business, labor, and environmental groups and identify energy policy options with broad political support. The coalition aims to bring about changes in U.S. energy policy to address the economic, security and environmental challenges related to the production and use of fossil fuels with a compelling new vision of the economic opportunities that will be created by the transition to a new energy economy.
Reid Detchon is Executive Director of the Climate and Energy program at the UN Foundation, in addition to his capacity as Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition.