Mayors are always seeking the newest solutions to advance climate action in their communities. While attractive, the latest in solar, wind, and increased efficiencies come at a cost, and may be prohibitively expensive for many municipalities. However, there is good news. Researchers from some of the nation’s top universities have concluded that massive emission cuts are already possible with existing technologies.
The solution lies in investing in a smart grid, connecting excess energy supplies to locations with increased demand. By coupling a national or regional smart grid with local and state renewable generation, researchers estimate that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels within 15 years. What's more, is that such a system would decrease the costs of electricity, and lower energy bills for families.
Leadership from communities, cities, and states will drive collaboration and can provide the needed spark for a national smart grid. By investing in renewable infrastructure, collaborating with adjacent cities and regions, and working to update the electricity grid—mayors can play an important role. The first step in this undertaking is to join with equally committed climate leaders. Find out more about how you can help, and visit Path to Positive Communities!
By Tim Radford | Climate Change News | February 1, 2016
The US could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 80% below 1990 levels within 15 years just by using renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, according to a former government research chief.
The nation could do this using only technologies available right now, and by introducing a national grid system connected by high voltage direct current (HVDC) that could get the power without loss to those places that needed it most, when they needed it.
This utopian vision – and it has been dreamed at least twice before by researchers in Delaware and in Stanford, California – comes directly from a former chief of research in a US government agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Dr Alexander MacDonald, a distinguished meteorologist, was until recently, the head of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
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