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The Switch to Green Energy is Putting America at Risk of Power Outages

Climate legislation passed by the Biden Administration for the transition to green energy will affect the electric grid. A summer reliability assessment forecasted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation shows that two-thirds of the United States is at risk of experiencing power outages this summer.

The switch to using fewer nonrenewable resources (natural gas, coal, and nuclear) is causing a threat to the electric grid. As wind and solar are intermittent technologies, they cannot fully replace our non renewables at the extent that is needed. 

The Institute of Energy Research claims that, “The U.S. government is forcing conventional energy into retirement too quickly and replacing it with intermittent wind and solar power at a slower rate, producing a gap.” It is important to note that due to this gap, battery backup is being forced into the market with 70 percent of its costs paid by taxpayers.

‘Lagging green capacities’ are pushing tools like energy monitoring to the front line. These technologies are well poised to help soften the blow. In fact, businesses are reducing energy waste by 10-43%. This makes reducing the amount of energy that is already being paid for the most impactful tool for lowering CO2. And these are hard cost savings. One school district in Florida has saved $8 mil by making energy waste viable. Learn more.

 “The United States will generate less electricity from coal this year than any year this century.”

– Energy Information Administration

The problem lies in a mismatch between the retirement of nonrenewable resources and the replacement of green resources. The gap is produced where renewable energy cannot replace our retirements entirely at the rate they are being retired, which is where the threat to our grid lies. The manager of grid operations in most of the eastern U.S. has warned of increasing reliability risks due to this “mismatch” of timing between a shift in resources. This transition is a difficult and risky one that politicians may have neglected when policy decisions were made. 

The Grid Collapse in Texas

The ice storm and grid collapse in Texas of February 2021 was an unfortunate disaster that killed 246 people and left millions without power for days. The state of Texas has taken precautionary measures of rapid battery storage expansion, which could help prevent a future grid collapse. In the past year, Texas alone has accounted for 31% of new U.S. grid-scale energy storage, which is second to California. Texas lawmakers have voted on new subsidies for natural gas power plants along with encouragement for investment in battery storage to ensure reliability of the power grid. 

A Cautionary Message to The Biden Administration

The NERC summer reliability assessment serves as a cautionary message to the Biden Administration and states that are rapidly transitioning towards green energy. Industry experts, regulators, and grid operators have expressed concerns about the retirements of traditional power sources surpassing the capacity of renewable energy to bridge the gap. The premature closure of fossil-fuel plants, mandated by the EPA’s regulations, poses a threat to the reliability of the power grid. It is likely that power outages, or blackouts, will be necessary for politicians to realize the shortcomings of their green energy agenda. As a result, Americans should be prepared for the consequences of these actions.