Mr. Biden agrees. He even called for new power lines during his presidential campaign.
It could have helped him gain support from the electric utilities, which typically give Republicans larger contributions. In the 2020 election, the industry’s political action committees and its leaders gave it $ 1.4 million, compared to Donald J. Trump’s roughly $ 1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
In Washington, developers of large solar and wind projects are pushing for a more connected grid while utilities want more federal funding for new transmission lines. Rooftop solar panel and battery advocates are lobbying Congress for more federal incentives.
Separately, there are pitched battles in state capitals over how much utilities should pay homeowners for electricity produced by rooftop solar panels. Utilities in California, Florida and elsewhere want lawmakers to lower these rates. Solar panel owners and renewable energy groups are fighting these efforts.
Building power lines is difficult.
Despite Mr Biden’s backing, the utility industry may struggle to add power lines.
Many Americans resist transmission lines for aesthetic and environmental reasons. Powerful economic interests are also at stake. In Maine, for example, a campaign is underway to stop a 145-mile line that will carry hydroelectric power from Quebec to Massachusetts.
New England has phased out coal, but still uses natural gas. Lawmakers hope to change that with help from the $ 1 billion line, called New England Clean Energy Connect.
This spring, workers cleared trees and installed steel poles in the forests of western Maine. First proposed a decade ago, the project was supposed to cross New Hampshire until the state rejected it. Federal and state regulators have approved the Maine route, which is sponsored by Central Maine Power and HydroQuébec.
But the project is mired in lawsuits, and Maine residents could block it with a November voting measure.