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Bill Gates Calls For Better Energy Infrastructure In The U.S.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has now identified the next key in his commitment to a better energy supply: He called for a massive expansion of transport infrastructure in the form of high-voltage lines.

“Many of the best places to generate a lot of electricity are far from urban centers,” he said. In particular, the production of electricity from renewable sources is best organized in regions where there are hardly any consumers. Therefore, power lines are required with which a connection of the large consumption areas is possible.

There are also high-voltage lines in the USA. “Aside from being outdated, there’s another major problem that makes things worse: our grid is fragmented. Most people (including me) talk about ‘the power grid’ as if it were a single grid, that covers the entire nation from coast to coast, but in reality, it’s an intricate patchwork of systems with different levels of connectivity to one another,” Gates explained.

Energy transition slowed down

This has already been shown several times when extreme weather conditions have occurred. Some time ago, for example, Texas was hit by a cold spell that was completely unfamiliar to these regions and the power to supply the numerous electric heaters that were suddenly put into operation ran out. Neighboring states could have stepped in here with their surpluses – but there was only one connection to the outside, which was quickly exhausted.

“Our tangled grid prevents communities from importing energy when challenges such as extreme weather conditions overwhelm their generators. It also prevents electricity from new clean energy projects from reaching people’s homes,” Gates continued. In the United States, clean energy projects with a capacity of more than a thousand gigawatts are currently waiting for approvals, which are not granted because the distribution of the electricity generated is unclear.

The problems sound very similar to those in this country. Gates described the approval processes as “lengthy, confused, and often outdated”. Therefore, new lines would be built much too slowly. Only a few states such as New Mexico and Colorado would already do a good job of solving the difficulties in the world.