Energy powerhouses, Ernest Moniz and Lynn Good, talk politics, R&D, stakeholder engagement, transmission, EVs and a host of other topics around the future of energy in the US.

On Tuesday, March 30, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius presented the Washington Post Live, sponsored by GE, where he talked with energy leaders in a session called “The Future of Energy.” Former Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and CEO of Duke Energy, Lynn Good, were two of his guests, bringing with them interesting perspectives on where the energy industry is headed and what challenges still need to be overcome to get there.

Good several times pointed to problems with permitting large projects as an issue that she hopes the Biden administration will address. Often, said Good, it takes longer to permit an energy project than it does to actually build it. 

Take transmission, for example. The Biden administration yesterday announced a goal of installing 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. 

“In order to get offshore wind [energy] onshore, we are going to need to make transmission investments and that’s very difficult to do,” said Good. 

New transmission lines, like gas pipelines, face obstacles from the public at large related to aesthetics, nimbyism, and other fears surrounding human health. Case in point is Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Avangrid, which spent $2.3M in television and other public education campaigns in 2019 to rally support for a new $1B transmission line that it wants in order to bring Canadian hydropower downstate. The state of Maine ultimately gave the proposed line a green light, but the project has yet to break ground and still faces ongoing lawsuits today.  

Transmission lines aren’t the only energy infrastructure that face permitting hurdles. Good also explained that in order to support the coming wave of electric vehicles, lots more infrastructure will need to

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