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What Will It Take To Put Clean Electricity On The Grid?

Electric energy generating wind turbines are seen on a wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass area near Palm Springs, California.
Electric energy generating wind turbines are seen on a wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass area near Palm Springs, California.

As Senators continue to debate the contents of the bipartisan infrastructure package, some Democrats have turned their attention to the climate actions the deal left behind.

Including a clean electricity standard.

From Vox:

A clean electricity standard is a bit of a misnomer because the actual policy being discussed is even more boring-sounding: a clean electricity payment program that pays utilities to clean up their act and fine them for missing deadlines. Still, this approach could effectively double the amount of wind and solar on the market, moving the nation toward roughly 80 percent renewable sources of electricity by 2030, and within reach of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. It’s critical to getting the US halfway to Biden’s pledge under the Paris climate agreement.

[…] Two of the biggest ways Americans contribute to climate change is in their transportation and electricity usage. You might cut your carbon footprint by making your home more efficient, installing a solar panel, and even buying an electric car — and the power that flows from your outlet is a lot cleaner than it was a decade ago. But coal and natural gas, more often than not, are still the status quo. This reality limits the impact of well-meaning actions: A coal-fired power plant may be charging your Tesla, and gas might be powering your office’s air conditioning.

Senate Democrats will likely weigh whether to include the clean electricity standard in a budget reconciliation bill once the infrastructure package passes the Senate.

What will it take to clean up our electric grid? And how long will it take?

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