One hundred and fifty-two million kilometers of new power transmission lines are needed for the planet to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, according to an analysis conducted by BloombergNEF experts.
There is optimism due to the great advances in clean, renewable power generation around the world, however you, and all of us, need that electricity to arrive safely, reliably and consistently to our homes, businesses or industries. In addition, that electricity needs to be of the best possible quality so that all the appliances, machines and devices that use it, work efficiently and without complications or damage.
That is the reason why clean distributed generation, that which is done right where it is demanded, or as close as possible, has to be strongly and decisively promoted. In addition to being the cheapest form of energy available, it allows greater control of energy if other distributed energy resources are also integrated, such as storage, intelligent management and microgrids; it empowers users and achieves greater quality, resilience and reliability of energy systems, among other great advantages over traditional centralized systems.
However, areas that are voracious consumers of electricity, such as large metropolises, urban centers or logistic and industrial areas, may have serious difficulties to have adequate and feasible sites for distributed generation, and that is when energy has to be generated in external sites, but as close as possible, and transported there. And that is precisely what electric power transmission and distribution lines do.
So, if we want to achieve carbon neutrality in the electricity sector in the country, and worldwide, in addition to promoting distributed generation, it is necessary to do the same with regional generation systems and strengthen transmission and distribution lines.
And the construction of these necessary energy infrastructure works are currently facing regulatory and normative obstacles that are preventing their progress at the speed needed. It is urgent to unblock them. Mexico could be wasting enormous opportunities with the relocation of industries that seek to approach the largest market for products and services on the planet, if we are not able to provide the certainty that these factories will have enough energy to move their machines.
First there has to be the political will to ensure that the issue is addressed and considered as a strategic issue on the national agenda, then integrate value partnerships between government, investors and financial institutions, infrastructure builders, academia and users.
Rob Gramlich, founder of energy sector consulting firm Grid Strategies LLC, says the new mantra in the industry has to be "no transition without transmission," and I believe he is right.
We have to move forward without delay in this regard, not attending to it can have a very high cost.
Raúl Asís Monforte González.
Facebook: Raúl Asís Monforte González