We have to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Doing so requires a clean-energy future.

This is only possible if we access our rich but remote resources of renewable energy.

The only way to bring that energy to market is through transmission wires.

Our clean-energy future must also be affordable and reliable.

Building transmission is costly, but when we connect renewable resources, they reduce the market price of electricity because they have no fuel cost: the sunshine and wind are free.

Renewable energy is therefore not just cleaner, it’s cheaper.

Indeed, the savings quickly overtake the costs of the necessary transmission wires.

A more extended and integrated regional transmission system will also mitigate the local variability of renewable resources and provide contingent power access to all interconnected generation, improving reliability.

But: while it takes less than two years to build a wind farm or central solar power plant, it takes a minimum of eight years to site, permit, and build new transmission capacity.

Building new transmission is therefore the threshold challenge to building a clean-energy future.  As has been conclusively demonstrated in Texas, California, and the upper Midwest, building the transmission capacity to move clean energy to market will prompt the clean energy generation we need.

In short, if we want a clean energy future, the first priority is to enhance the transmission grid.