Northern Pass and other long distance HVDC transmission routes

The utility industry has a perverse motivation to make sure that underground transmission remains impractical, so they can continue to say truthfully (but still disingenuously!) that underground power transmission for power levels above a gigawatt are unproven. These options remain unproven because of an utter lack of support for R&D in this area. Most of the research that DOE has financed on transmission innovations is for superconductivity  which is unlikely to be practical for many decades to come. Please note that the costs being cited for Northern Pass and for other HVDC lines are way higher than for twin gas pipelines to cover the same route. Doesn't it seem like one could fit the needed electric conductors inside a gas pipeline (all tucked away safely and neatly)? Check out elpipes to see how this can be done...but only if the needed R&D begins.

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