Integrating Renewable Energy into the Power Grid: national Policy and RTO Collaboration
Kilkka, Marissa P.
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Within this essay, a summer internship experience at American Electric Power is discussed, followed by an exploration into the topic of renewable power in the energy industry. The first section goes into detail about the company, the intern's experience in the Portfolio and Margin Analysis Group, and her learning from that experience. She acquired a broad exposure to a number of different topics in the utility industry, including renewable energy issues. The second section of this essay seeks a means of balancing environmental friendliness with the ·economics of the current energy system. In a time of increasing awareness of the harms caused by carbon dioxide emissions, more and more businesses and individuals, including American Electric Power, are looking for financially feasible ways to mitigate their emissions. This essay explores the operations of the current U.S. power grid and the inherent obstacles to utilizing more renewables and mitigating emissions within it, including public apathy, policy deficiencies, transmission restraints, and cost redemption issues. It argues, first and foremost, for an updated transmission system, so as to allow for. additional renewable power sources to connect to the grid. After a sufficient transmission system is in place, it calls for a national renewable portfolio standard combined with a renewable energy credit program. Finally, it argues that the above mentioned policies are best administered through the existing Regional Transmission Organizations across the United States. Using Texas as a case study, this essay seeks to adjust and promote Texas' existing renewable energy system so as to make it feasible nation-wide. A persuasive and··action-based essay, it concludes that any changes will need to be precipitated by a public that is willing to shoulder the monetary burden of this pervasive problem. Utilities, it argues, are willing to increase use of renewable power sources, but as in any business, they need permission from their consumers to recoup the additional expenses.