“The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards. Costly environmental regulations and subsidized renewable generation have exacerbated base-load power plant retirements,” the draft says. “However, those factors played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability.”
The question now becomes – what will the politicians do to alter the message and fit their handler’s economic interests?
Remember, the individual running this study – Travis Fisher – once said:
The single greatest threat to reliable electricity in the U.S. does not come from natural disturbances or human attacks. Rather, the host of bad policies now coming from the federal government – and unfortunately from many state governments – is creating far greater and more predictable problems with grid reliability.
We have Russians hacking the grid, and individuals ‘testing’ the strength of electricity transformers with high powered rifles – however – according to this former employee of Institute for Energy Research solar and wind are more dangerous than terrorism. The Institute for Energy Research is bankrolled by bankrupt Peabody Coal and the Koch Brothers.
Bloomberg reached out to a spokesperson for the department regarding the finality of the document and got a great PR response –
“Those statements as written are not in the current draft,” Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. She wouldn’t say they are incorrect, just the draft is “constantly evolving.”
This response needs to be analyzed in the broader context of a long history of politicians harassing scientists –
- 2017 – Survey: Department of Agriculture scientists sometimes pressured to alter research findings
- 2015 – Scientists reporting inappropriate influence and interference with science, restrictions on their ability to communicate about their work
- 2007 – US climate scientists pressured on climate change
And then of course we have Trump administration stating very clearly that EPA Scientists’ Work May Face ‘Case By Case’ Review By Trump Team. This is our political reality.
Evidence from around the world in other high renewable locations have not shown a proclivity towards destabilizing power grids – Germany produced 82 percent of its electricity from renewables for a period of several days in May. Denmark gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewables on many days of the year. Yet both nations have electric grids that are 10 times more reliable than America’s.
Renewables themselves don’t make the power grids more stable, but the work done to the grid to allow it to handle renewables – in addition to general technology advances – are increasing stability. As we continue to clean our power grid, and integrate these low cost resources, we will continue to add better management and smarts to our power grid. The Department of Energy last year set a goal of 100% solar power at noon time – which means we will have a grid stable enough to handle it.
Right now isn’t the time to watch folks – its time to call your (ownership implied) politicians.