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solar subsidies are hurting the electricity market

6. Juni 2011 von guru

solar subsidies are hurting the electricity market

Reliance on wind energy in West Texas an energy source that is itself too http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ reliant on government subsidies has threatened the reliability of the energy market in that region and statewide.

The problem, writes Richard Martin for the MIT Technology Review, is the renewable energy industry hasn’t yet built the infrastructure needed to deliver the power where it’s needed.

»The Lone Star state is by far the largest state for wind power, with nearly 18,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity already built and another 5,500 megawatts nearly equal to California’s total installed capacity planned,« Martin writes. »The biggest driver of that wind boom was an $8 billion transmission system that was built to bring electricity from the desolate western and northern parts of the state to the big cities of the south and east: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.«

»That’s not enough to handle the 21,000 megawatts of capacity Texas expects to reach this year, and it’s creating a situation that’s straining the transmission system and potentially resulting in periods where the turbines go idle,« Martin explains. »Now the state’s utilities and transmission companies are faced with spending hundreds of millions more to upgrade the system, demonstrating just how costly and complicated it is to shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, even where those sources are abundant.«

There’s a bottleneck for wind energy, and there’s one coming for solar power, too, Martin reports.

»The state ranks third in terms of total solar capacity, and another 6,000 megawatts of solar projects are planned,« he writes. »That will further strain the grid.«

At the same time, the need for abundant, cheap and reliable power has never been greater.

»What’s not waiting is demand growth. The population of Texas is expected to grow from around 27 million today to 33.6 million in 2030, with much of that coming in cities like Dallas and Austin,« he writes.

What’s amazing in this report like some others Martin has filed with the MIT Technology Review is cheap jerseys his acknowledgement that there are actually problems with wind and solar power.

As he wrote in April, »Solar and wind power are coming online at rates unforeseen only a few years ago. That’s a good thing if your goal is to decarbonize the energy sector. But if you’re a utility or independent power producer and you make your money selling electricity, it can be not such a good thing.«

One factor is that subsidies for solar and wind are pushing electricity prices down, distorting the market and threatening the livelihood of our truly dependable generators coal and natural gas before renewables are ready to truly take up the burden.

The answer isn’t government incentives for conventional power something the power companies are starting to suggest, but instead it’s reducing subsidies for renewable energy sources.

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