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Posted Mon Oct 20 2008: from Issues in Science and Technology:
A National Renewable Portfolio Standard? Not Practical
To sum up, we estimate that the states could accommodate 10 percent of the electricity coming from wind (or solar, if the costs were to come down) at any one time. With some attention and adjustment, we find that the electricity system could accommodate 15 percent or even 20 percent.... A national system must also deal with the fact that the best wind resources are in the Great Plains, about 1,000 miles from the Southeast where the electricity is likely to be needed. Policymakers must remain mindful of the difficulty of expanding transmission infrastructure. Community opposition will be widespread, the cost will be high, and the lines themselves will be vulnerable to disruption by storms or terrorists. Thus, although a 20 percent national RPS might be physically possible with a very large transmission network and large amounts of spinning reserve, the logistical barriers will be high and the costs daunting. Embarking on this path without considering alternative strategies to reach the same ultimate goal would be short-sighted.
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The ApocaDocs say:
I hate it when facts get in the way of rosy sustainable scenarios.

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