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Addressing Technical and Infrastructure Challenges Key for US Clean Energy Transition

Due to the recent passing of historic climate legislation, such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, the United States could see a dramatic shift towards the generation of renewable energy. The only way for this transition to be effective, though, is for politicians to deal with the infrastructure problems and technological difficulties that come with the current energy system.

Not only is the production of electricity the subject of recent laws, but it is also the area where developing technology will cause the greatest speed of change. However, this change is likely to run into the biggest obstacles given the system's intense regulation. To keep the grid balanced, the electricity system must consistently meet the fundamental problem of balancing electricity production and consumption.

Policymakers must monitor and address major concerns with current technology and procedures since the pace and scale of creating energy infrastructure over the next two decades will be far larger than anything seen since at least the 1970s. The interaction of new energy-generation technologies with infrastructure and regulatory frameworks designed for a time when power demand was expanding quickly and the only way to meet that demand was by building huge fossil-fired power plants presents a substantial problem.

Conflict and difficulties are brought on by the interactions between novel energy production methods, the rate of change that is occurring now and in the future, and aging infrastructure. As the US looks to grow capacity, policymakers must consider the distinctive qualities of utility-scale, community-sized, and customer-sited clean energy solutions. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of clean energy generation itself, such as various scale economies in production and more seasonal variance in generation.

The deployment of clean energy infrastructure is now hampered by legislative and regulatory restrictions, which must be lifted in order to fully achieve the potential of the clean energy transition for US economic growth, jobs, and prosperity. More funding is required but insufficient for investment and innovation. In order to deploy new clean energy generation and the mechanisms necessary to connect these new energy sources to electricity customers, policymakers must design solutions that eliminate the choke points caused by the current infrastructure and regulatory systems. Getting rid of these current impediments to a successful transition to clean energy will be the main task facing US climate policymakers during the coming ten years.

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