Biden plan for cleaner power system faces daunting obstacles

FILE - People sit at the base of a transmission tower in North Arlington, N.J., Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability. Biden is scheduled to meet Monday, April 12, 2021 with Republican and Democratic lawmakers and can deploy the figures to show that his plan would help meet the needs of their constituents. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) - If the nation is to meet President Joe Biden's goal of cutting America's greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade, it will have to undertake a vast transformation toward renewable energy.

And to achieve that, the near-impossible will be required: A broad network of transmission lines will have to be built to carry solar and wind power across the continent to deliver electricity to homes and businesses - something the administration envisions accomplishing by 2035.

What's more, utility-scale batteries on a widespread scale, to store renewable energy for peak-use periods, would be needed.

The financial and technological tasks of linking cleaner power sources to an aging electric grid pummeled by climate change are daunting enough. Add to them the legal fights that states and localities will likely mount to fight the build-outs of transmission lines in their areas, and the challenges become extraordinary.

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