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Perils Of Green Energy

As renewables replace polluting, carbon-intensive power sources, the reliability of the nation's electricity will be impaired because of the inability of the grid to accommodate power produced from distant sources, according to a new report.
November 11, 2008, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"The North American Electric Reliability Corporation says in a report scheduled for release Monday (11/10) that unless appropriate measures are taken to improve transmission of electricity, rules reducing carbon dioxide emissions by utilities could impair the reliability of the power grid."

Twenty seven states have "set standards specifying that electric utilities generate a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources" known as 'Renewable Portfolio Standards'.

"The North American Electric Reliability Corporation is the industry body authorized by the federal government to enforce reliability rules for the interlocking system of electrical power generation and transmission".

In short, as green energy sources, such as wind and solar, generated from distant sources replace closer, but more polluting sources, such as coal plants 'near load centers', enormous strain is placed on the transmission lines.

"Carbon emission initiatives are the "No. 1 emerging issue" for the grid", claims the group's CEO.

Unless investments are made in transmission lines and other parts of the grid, there will be a decrease in blackouts as renewables provide more electricity, according to the report.

"It appears that greenhouse gas issues and electric utility reliability are on a collision course.", said one industry executive.

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Published on Monday, November 10, 2008 in The New York Times
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