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The Threat to U.S. Climate Goals

Why It Matters

The electrification movement has major impact on the grid and therefore on utilities being able to support the need.

As “A New Surge in Power Use Is Threatening U.S. Climate Goals” identifies:

  • “In an ironic twist, the swelling appetite for more electricity, driven not only by electric cars but also by battery and solar factories and other aspects of the clean-energy transition, could also jeopardize the country’s plans to fight climate change.”
  • “Delays in permits and snarls in supply chains have impeded the growth of alternative resources such as wind and solar – they are not growing fast enough. “
  • “It can take five years or longer to connect renewable energy projects to the grid and a decade to build some of the long-distance power lines they require.
  • “By 2030, electricity demand at U.S. data centers could triple, using as much power as 40 million homes, according to Boston Consulting Group.”

Calico’s Take

We need to invest in cleaner and smarter technologies to meet the growing demand on the grid. A growing demand that comes from a combination of a rapid increase in needed computing power and data center usage from the AI boom, the aggressive move globally to electrification of the transportation sector, and the continued post pandemic supply chain bumps.

This has created a context where the push for grid modernization and more rapid deployment of new and cleaner technologies is already behind for the future.

Policy is currently acting as the lever to force utilities to act, however, this is clearly not enough when it comes to solving the bigger problem. Setbacks such as the latest SEC Scope 3 ruling are further signs that we are only willing to go so far to really tackle the problem at .

In addition to policy, we need closer collaboration between policy makers, building owners, utilities, community organizations and clean energy entrepreneurs.


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