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Widespread efforts aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable fuels for the generation of electricity will fundamentally determine the future course of electric reliability across North America, according to Electric Industry Concerns on Reliability Impacts of Climate Change Initiatives - a report issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).

"We are concerned that when viewed from a continent-wide perspective, current climate initiatives do not adequately address key reliability objectives, particularly the need for a strong and robust transmission system," says Rick Sergel, president and CEO of NERC. "As we consider our energy future, it becomes increasingly clear that our success in reducing carbon emissions and realizing energy independence will hinge on our ability to provide reliable, clean, electricity where and when it is needed."

The report says that the existing bulk transmission network is inadequate to reliably deliver power from new renewable resources to demand centers. Innovative planning and operational mechanisms will be needed as states and provinces attempt to deliver clean energy over already heavily loaded transmission lines to meet renewable portfolio standard requirements.

In addition, managing growing demand will be critical to meeting both climate and reliability goals, making demand-side resources a critical component of the resource mix. Dispatchable demand response will be particularly important as it adds needed system flexibility and supports the integration of new variable generation such as wind power.

SOURCE: North American Electric Reliability Corp.



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