The world shifted last month. It wasn't an earthquake — but the long term consequences are even more important. Many news reports and high-profile presentations from scientists, business leaders and policy-makers made headlines. All are urging the U.S. to develop the abundant wind and solar energy in the plains and deserts and to build high-voltage transmission to deliver that power to markets across the country. What's more, the same can be done between countries on every continent.
In Al Gore's speech that target's 100% renewable energy, he stated that "We do not have a unified national grid that is sufficiently advanced to link the areas where the sun shines and the wind blows to the cities in the East and the West that need electricity. Our national grid is critical infrastructure, as vital to the health and security of our economy as our highways and telecommunication networks."
In Vanity Fair, Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote The Next President's First Task (a Manifesto). "We sit atop the second largest geothermal resources in the world. The American Midwest is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and ... solar installations across just 19% of the most barren desert land could supply nearly all our nation's electricity needs... Push to revamp the nation's antiquated high-voltage power transmission system so that it can deliver solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy across the country."
Billionaire oilman, T. Boone Pickens, has embraced clean energy for its benefits to national security. Domestic energy is better than importing fossil fuels from countries who don't like you. Testifying before Congress, Pickens said, "The government should be building transmission lines for wind-generated power or provide the right of way on private land and extend tax credits so the private sector can build the lines." Pickens is investing and building the world's largest wind farm in Texas.
You'll recall that last month, NOAA scientist James Hansen advocated the same strategy (check out the video about 5:20 minutes in). For GENI, after nearly 20 years, it's gratifying that so many thought leaders are speaking with one voice. Linking renewable energy resources around the world is a top priority for all nations and their neighbors. Now our job is to build it out — the sooner the better.