Gia tăng sử dụng năng lượng đe dọa mục tiêu về khí hậu của Mỹ

bùng nổ trung tâm dữ liệu và nhà máy làm căng lưới điện và thúc đẩy sử dụng nhiên liệu hóa thạch

Over the past year, electric utilities (tiện ích điện) have nearly doubled their forecasts (dự báo) of how much additional power (điện năng bổ sung) they’ll need by 2028 as they confront an unexpected explosion in the number of data centers, an abrupt resurgence (hồi sinh đột ngột) in manufacturing driven by new federal laws (luật liên bang), and millions of electric vehicles being plugged in.

Many power companies were already struggling to keep the lights on, especially during extreme weather, and say the strain on grids will only increase. Peak demand in the summer is projected to grow by 38,000 megawatts nationwide in the next five years, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Grid Strategies, which is like adding another California to the grid.

Some utilities say they need additional fossil fuel (nhiêu liệu hóa thạch) capacity because cleaner alternatives like wind or solar power (năng lượng mặt trời) aren’t growing fast enough and can be bogged down by delayed permits and snarled supply chains. While a data center can be built in just one year, 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. Utilities also note that data centers and factories need power 24 hours a day, something wind and solar can’t do alone.

There are other ways to meet rising demand that require burning fewer fossil fuels (yêu cầu đốt ít nhiên liệu hóa thạch hơn), some experts say. Utilities could get more creative about helping customers use less electricity during peak hours or make better use of batteries, reducing strains on the grid. Advanced sensors and other technologies could push more renewable energy through existing transmission lines. Some utilities are pursuing these options, but many are not.

Over the coming months, environmentalists (nhà môi trường) and other groups aim to challenge utility plans at state regulatory proceedings. In some cases, they’ll argue that the utility has overestimated future demand growth or neglected alternatives to gas. While these debates can get technical, they could have a significant impact on the nation’s energy future (tương lai năng lượng quốc gia).

source: nytimes,

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