Death of the US Electric Grid

The anti-EV crowd would like to blame the coming disaster for the US electric grid on EVs. The reality is that growth in industry, not EV usage is the biggest problem and the top “player” is computer data centers.

The Electric Viking discusses this — issues such as Georgia sees a 17-times increase in electricity usage — but there is more to talk about. While one big grid was needed when the US grid was growing up, I think we are past that time. What is needed is to create a grid where a much larger percentage of energy demand is produced by local generation and storage.

Local generation can be as simple as distributed solar — on the roofs of buildings and homes, for example. The evolution of storage is really what makes this possible. In the grid of the last century, much of the storage came from water behind dams. But, we are beyond that in demand. Gas-fired peaker plants have been necessary to deal with demand peaks. These plants are very expensive to operate. If there is a way to store excess generation capacity, these plants become unnecessary. On the high end, grid-scale battery packs can help utilities smooth out production peaks to cover demand peaks.

Beyond that, EVs plugged into the grid can help as well. They can supply power to the grid at peak demand times (such as early evening) and then be charged back up at low demand times. But, what this means is that utilities need to start looking locally for solutions.

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