Climate Change

07 Sep 2022

Renewables Are Losing Steam as Bottlenecks Emerge

07 Sep 2022  by   
The September Renewables MMI (Monthly MetalMiner Index) dropped by 6.3%. Like previous months, energy limitations were the biggest factor in the drop as high temperatures and limited energy resources strain power generation systems around the globe.


Power Generation and the “Green Bottleneck”

At the end of August, President Biden officially signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which set forth $369 billion toward renewable energy efforts. The act strives to have over 900 million solar panels and over 100,000 wind turbines operating by 2030. However, the drive toward renewable energy in the US currently faces a big obstacle: energy not being transferred from its area of generation.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, US renewable energy sources like wind turbines and solar panels don’t have enough high-voltage lines to transfer power to their specific destination. That means more and more power lines need to be constructed to transfer that power from solar fields and wind farms to the general population.

In other areas of the world, like Europe, renewable energy may help balance out events like the ongoing energy crisis. However, Europe faces issues with green energy obstacles just like the US. Ireland, for instance, faces problems with off-shore wind power due to ocean waters being too deep. In Denmark, wind power construction hasn’t hit full force due to long approval procedures set forth by the EU.

It’s true that both green energy technology and our demand for it continues to grow and evolve. However, like any other major industry shift, obstacles must be addressed and overcome before green becomes mainstream.

GOES MMI – High Temperatures Plague Power Generation

The September GOES MMI (Monthly MetalMiner Index) dropped for the first time in months. Month to month, GOES prices declined by 4.4%.

Source: MetalMiner Insights

Transformer Trouble

The current transformer shortage presents yet another obstacle to US power generation. For instance, many transformer parts and components are unavailable due to ongoing supply chain shortages. This has already caused problems during 2022’s punishing heat waves. Without enough supply to meet growing power grid demand, blackouts become more and more likely.

In California, the third most expensive state to live in the US this hits especially hard due to the state’s high average temperatures and lack of water resources. For perspective, about 25% of the state of California consists of desert or desert-like conditions. Paired with the ongoing heat waves, California’s grids are under constant strain and with it, the population’s comfort level.


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