Thursday, June 22, 2017

Coal’s Decline Not Hurting Power Grid Reliability, Study Says

Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s electricity grid review is due out soon. Corporations and the wind industry just did their own study that counters his concerns.

Most metrics of power grid reliability have either been improving or stayed the same while renewable energy levels in the U.S. grid have grown. (Credit: Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty) Click to Enlarge.
A new study is challenging Energy Secretary Rick Perry's concerns about increasing levels of renewable energy in the U.S. electric grid, arguing that the decline of coal in the nation's power mix is driven largely by market forces and is not hurting the reliability of the grid.

Perry in April ordered a 60-day grid review looking in particular at whether government support for renewable energy is speeding the retirement of coal and nuclear plants and resulting in a more fragile electricity supply.  He suggested in his memo that renewable energy and regulatory burdens on coal were to blame for an "erosion of critical baseload resources."

The new study says that that fear is baseless, and it argues the opposite.

It cites, among other evidence, the latest annual analysis of grid reliability conducted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which found that most metrics of grid reliability are either improving or staying the same.  For example, 2015 saw a drop in the number of incidents causing a temporary loss of supply.  Frequency and voltage has remained stable as the amount of power from renewable energy sources has grown, it said, and the industry has been getting better at modeling changes to the grid to assess risks.

Read more at Coal’s Decline Not Hurting Power Grid Reliability, Study Says

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