Renewable energy superhighways aren’t here yet. But they just might be in our future.
The renewable energy sector got a boost last Tuesday, October 27, when President Obama toured the new DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida as it came online. The new 25 MW solar plant is the largest so far in the US and is expected to be able to supply clean solar energy for about 3,000 houses.
President Obama praised the ambitious new solar plant and offered his vision of America’s energy future: one in which a new interstate energy grid provides reliable, clean power to America. Rebutting arguments that clean, renewable energy would come at the cost of jobs and the economy, the president suggested that building a unified, updated grid system would in fact create jobs, lower energy costs for Americans, and reduce our environmental impact. An interstate ‘superhighway’ system for energy would also mean that renewable power produced in one region could be distributed to meet energy needs outside the region or state (e.g. wind power produced in a rural area could be transmitted to an urban one).
Being able to distribute renewable energy without running into the bureaucratic rules of different energy companies (the US grid — the world’s most complex machine?) would make it a more feasible solution for curbing America’s CO2 emissions caused by traditional energy generation. President Obama compared his proposed energy superhighway to Eisenhower’s interstate highway system that made travel safer, more reliable, and more efficient. Will energy superhighways do the same thing for renewable energy? We don’t know.
But wouldn’t it be awesome if we could find out, sooner rather than later?