As California deploys more and more renewable energy, we’re going to have a problem integrating all that variable sun- and wind-powered electricity. One of the key solutions is to create a renewable energy market across the western United States. For example, if we need more morning renewable energy, maybe Arizona or New Mexico can export their solar power to us, since the sun will be higher there.
And if wind and sun are both down in California, maybe Wyoming wind can help us? Along those lines, the federal government just released a draft environmental review document for a transmission line to bring Wyoming wind power to California. It’s sad and ironic that Wyoming, a state heavily dependent on coal power and largely backwards when it comes to acknowledging climate science, will be exporting that clean energy anywhere but domestically.
Still, perhaps it will help ease a political transition in that state if locals in Wyoming realize there’s money to be made off clean energy. And for California, it means another step toward a deep decarbonization of our electricity supply.