Regulatory Hurdles Slow Adoption of Advanced Transmission Technologies
A recent editorial discussed the regulatory hurdles which must be overcome to encourage the widespread adoption of advanced transmission technologies. The author, Charles Hernick, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, made some very interesting points:
- Formerly new technologies, such a wind and solar power, are not experimental any more. Energy storage is rapidly getting to that point as well. Lindsey notes these technologies flourished in the U.S. in part because of numerous legislative and regulatory encouragements.
- In the area of transmission, current regulatory red tape is hindering similar innovation. This red tape “systematically favors traditional energy options,” by favoring “larger investments over the operational benefits of adopting new technology.”
- Non-transmission alternatives should be considered part of the transmission planning process. However, Hernick notes this requires increased transparency in how these technologies compare to more conventional approaches.
- Additional flexibility in the grid will both better accommodate renewables and save money for end users.
New Transmission Technologies
New technologies are the lifeblood of the grid. Many of the current regulations and processes were put in place to encourage the type of grid build-out needed 20 or more years ago. Mr. Hernick’s piece (click here to read his full posting) makes a good case for looking at these rules afresh. You can read his full posting here.
The WATT Coalition represents suppliers of such advanced transmission technologies. These technologies include dynamic line rating, advanced flow control, and network topology optimization. WATT educates how these technologies can be used to optimize the existing transmission grid. Like Mr. Hernick’s editorial, WATT is also working to educate how current regulations discourage adoption of these new technologies.
Lindsey’s SMARTLINE dynamic line rating and capacity forecasting system is one of these new grid enhancing technologies. SMARTLINE shows how transmission line capacity varies with weather, and how to take advantage of this variation in operations. Learn more about it here.