Western Advocates, an alliance of more than 25 renewable energy industry, environmental, tribal, and public health organizations and regulatory experts, has released a report called Western Grid 2050: Contrasting Futures, Contrasting Fortunes in which it examines two different energy investment pathways facing the 11 western states: business-as-usual or a new clean, alternative energy trajectory.
The report, released by the Western Grid Group (WGG) with support from Western Clean Energy Advocates (WCEA), arrives at an optimistic outlook. It concludes that with intentional policymaking and planning today, the West can successfully transition to a clean energy economy that will deliver job, environmental and public health benefits for decades to come.
“It is time to rethink our grid,” said report author Carl Linvill, Director of Integrated Energy Analysis & Planning at the Aspen Environmental Group. “Advances in information, communications and clean energy technologies have opened the opportunity to overcome the barriers of 20th century grid technology and transition to a 21st century clean energy economy in the West. Retooling the infrastructure and changing the way we use will require a serious commitment, but the transition is achievable through deliberate policy, planning and investment decisions.”
Over $200 billion will be invested in the western electricity system over the next two decades as aging infrastructure is replaced and new infrastructure is built to meet the United States’ growing energy needs. Policy and investment decisions made today will have lasting economic and environmental consequences, the report writers argue.
Some of the key findings in the report include (CEV stands for Clean Energy Vision):
WGG and WCEA will follow the Western Grid 2050 report with other materials with proposals of a sustained, orderly transition to clean energy across the western U.S. The second phase of the report is due out in September and it’s called Clean Energy Vision Policies. It will identify the many policies that are already in use and can be expanded as well as new ones available to states that can and will guide a transition to a prosperous clean energy future.
To find out more visit Clean Energy Vision.