Demand Management, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables - January 16, 2018
General Motors calls for greater access to wind and solar power
To meet the growing demand for clean energy at its factories, General Motors is calling for greater access to wind and solar power through expanded transmission lines.
Access to renewable energy is a factor in decisions by GM about where to build or build new facilities, according to a report by Bloomberg Environment. "Electricity that is both cost-effective and clean is one of the determining factors that go into any new investment/expansion," said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy. "For us to continue to find projects that fit our needs, which is providing low-cost price-stable wind and solar, we need to be able to interconnect those assets to a grid," he said.
Considering GM’s goal to be fully renewable by 2050, Threlkeld noted, "As we go from 2018 to 2050, obtaining lowest-cost renewable energy generation will be key to meet the RE100 2050 goal."
However, a report published on Jan. 16 by the Wind Energy Foundation and David Gardiner and Associates warns that available renewable power transmission and transmission planning may not be sufficient to meet the long-term demand for renewables by major corporations.
Most wind power is produced in the central U.S., but most of the demand for that power is in other regions of the country. As more wind power is developed, more power lines are needed to deliver that energy to consumers in major cities outside the central U.S., where most wind power is currently produced.
"All the affordable, cheap wind and solar (corporation have) been buying ultimately will become inaccessible due to failure to build the necessary transmission," warns John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Energy Foundation.