Author Topic: America’s Emerging Energy Crisis  (Read 173 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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America’s Emerging Energy Crisis
« on: March 09, 2022, 06:54:36 PM »
America’s Emerging Energy Crisis
https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2022/03/01/americas_emerging_energy_crisis_819404.html

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The warning signs are everywhere.  We are stumbling toward an energy crisis that is likely to be far more severe and long-lasting than the upheavals of the 1970s.  And no, this isn’t about Russia or Ukraine. This is about the perilous state of the U.S. electricity grid.

If action isn't taken soon to address the unraveling reliability of the grid, the United States will face the specter of rolling blackouts, factory shutdowns, loss of jobs and soaring electricity bills. Our organization CASE recently released a policy brief highlighting just how dire the situation is.

Events In recent years show how serious the situation is.  According To the Wall Street Journal, outages have gone from fewer than two dozen major disruptions in 2000 to more than 180 in 2020. The catastrophic blackouts that gripped Texas for a week in February of last year should have been eye-opening. Now, warnings from regulators, grid operators and utilities suggest far worse is coming.

There's no getting around it. The nation's electricity transmission system is growing increasingly undependable. Aging infrastructure, severe weather, and the rapid pivot away from baseload power to intermittent solar and wind are all contributing. Supply chain problems and local opposition to building new power lines and siting renewable projects are also turning into increasingly tall hurdles. Expectations of increased demand driven by electric vehicles are only compounding the challenge.

It is very troubling that America's electrical grid is getting more unreliable. Green energy is part of the problem.

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Coal plants, in particular, are being pushed aside when it’s becoming painfully clear the optionality, fuel security and reliability they offer the grid is still very much needed. If we continue as we are – ditching the well-operating power plants that hold the grid together during severe heat and biting winter cold –we’re only going to exacerbate this crisis of our own making.

The affordability of our power supply also hangs in the balance. Last year, a 17% surge in coal-fired electricity helped shield consumers from rising natural gas prices. As we continue to disassemble the coal fleet, with another 100 gigawatts of coal capacity expected to close by 2030, we’re robbing the grid of an important price shock absorber for when natural gas prices rise. With global demand for gas rising, U.S. exports soaring and the Russian invasion of Ukraine throwing volatility into global energy markets, dismantling fuel optionality is short-sighted and reckless.
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