Energy Security Responsibly Delivered
Tom Sloan is a recently retired twelve-term veteran of the Kansas Legislature and member of several federal agency and professional legislator organizations’ energy committees. He is now a Senior Advisor to Public Utilities Fortnightly and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question that comes to mind, as one interested in public policy development, is how do we apply innovations to solve more than just an individual utility's challenge?
How do we use technological innovations to address public policy questions? More specifically, how do federal, state, tribal, utility, and other stakeholders use innovations in an integrated manner to solve problems and seize opportunities?
Transmission is a possible technology-public policy poster child. A majority of Americans and many of their elected representatives are expressing a policy preference for low-cost energy that is at a minimum reduced-carbon and may be carbon-free. Microgrids and distributed energy resources are prominently mentioned as ways to become energy-independent or secure. Notwithstanding that, non-wire and locally-sourced energy supplies frequently have higher energy costs than utility-scale generation.
High-voltage transmission lines are the most efficient means of bringing low-cost energy from states with great wind or solar generation potential to states with higher electric rates or with specific energy policy preferences.