Our transmission grid is overdue for an upgrade. More than 70% of America’s transmission lines are nearing the end of their 50-80-year lifespan, and the older our antiquated grid gets, the more vulnerable it becomes to failure. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office analysis, power outages have become longer and more frequent in recent years, affecting nearly three in four Americans and jeopardizing the health and safety of vulnerable people. America needs more transmission to keep up with its growing electricity needs.
That’s why a coalition of clean energy advocates, led by Advanced Energy United, is launching a new campaign to provide information for lawmakers and the public about the role of transmission in ensuring grid reliability and accelerating the transition to clean energy. This campaign will communicate how transmission makes the clean energy transition possible and that, as a country, we need to make it possible to build more transmission.
It’s called Transmission Possible.
What we’re launching out of the gate is a resource hub for decision-makers and advocates to explain why transmission and supporting technologies are so important. That resource hub lives on the campaign’s website: TransmissionPossible.org. There you’ll learn how updating our transmission infrastructure would deliver enormous benefits, including:
- More than 3.3 million jobs nationwide;
- Better grid reliability when extreme temperatures place greater demand on our energy system
- A faster transition to a 100% clean economy. If we could flip a switch and access all the renewable energy in development today, we could meet 80% of our national energy demand without burning fossil fuels. And yet, it takes years for the average clean energy project to be plugged into the grid because there’s not enough capacity in our transmission system.
- Healthier communities. Millions of Americans – a disproportionate number of whom identify as Black and Hispanic –live within three miles of a fossil fuel plant and breathe unhealthy air every day. Prolonged exposure to air pollution is proven to cause asthma in kids as young as 4 and lead to lifelong respiratory illness. Building more transmission lines will help us deliver more clean energy to everyone, so we can all breathe free.
One of our near-term goals for this campaign is to advance new policy at the state and federal levels that builds support, momentum, and incentives for new transmission and advanced transmission technologies, ultimately accelerating the construction of a 21st-century grid.
Core to our theory of change is that states have the power to unlock the benefits of transmission if they work together across regional boundaries to pick up the pace of siting and approving transmission projects. In the interim, widespread deployment of grid-enhancing technologies (GETs) and other supportive technologies can unlock as much as 40% more capacity from our existing transmission infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions by 90 million tons a year — the equivalent of taking every gasoline-powered car in Texas off the road.
A more reliable grid. New jobs. Cleaner power. Transmission makes it possible.
To learn more about the Transmission Possible campaign and associated resources, visit TransmisionPossible.org.