Wind and Solar Don’t Harm the Power Grid, Says Dept. of Energy Study -

Wind and Solar Don’t Harm the Power Grid, Says Dept. of Energy Study

Credit: fortune.com

  • About: 2 months ago
  • 9 views

The growth of renewable power, including wind and solar, has not harmed the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid, according to a draft U.S. Department of Energy study, echoing the findings of grid operators across the country.

The conclusion of the draft, dated July and viewed by Reuters, could ease fears in the renewable energy industry that the widely anticipated study would be used by President Donald Trump’s administration to form policies supporting coal plants at the expense of wind and solar.

“Numerous technical studies for most regions of the nation indicate that significantly higher levels of renewable energy can be integrated without any compromise of system reliability,” the draft says.

It added that growth of renewables could require the building of more transmission lines, advanced planning, and more flexibility to balance generation and meet demand. But it said that baseload power--coal and nuclear power--”is not as necessary as it used to be” given advances in grid technology.

Shaylyn Hynes, an Energy Department spokeswoman, said the draft was “outdated” and had not gone through “any adjudication” from career or political staff. The final report had been slated for release in early July, but now is not expected for at least a couple of weeks, she said.

The draft can be seen here. Bloomberg first reported on it on Friday.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry had called in April for his department to examine whether regulations backing renewable energy use imposed by former president Barack Obama and other administrations “threaten to undercut the performance of the grid well into the future.”

Critics of wind and solar energy have argued that those technologies leave the U.S. power system vulnerable to shortages when the sun is blocked or the wind does not blow--meaning that coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants that do not depend on weather should remain the bulk producers.

Renewable energy is seen by many state and local government as a cost-effective way to reduce emissions linked to climate change. Nuclear energy is virtually emissions-free but poses potential safety risks and the thorny issue of disposing radioactive plant waste.

Renewables and natural gas have displaced a slew of coal and nuclear plants in recent years, due to lower prices, environmental regulations and government subsidies. The draft said this is “not yet a problem for grid reliability and resilience--but further study is needed,” to determine how much of this “baseload” power can be lost while still ensuring reliability.

Grid Operators See No Threat

Officials at four grid operators, serving about 133 million customers, agreed renewables do not harm energy security or reliability.

“I don’t see them as threatening, no,” said Woody Rickerson, vice president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. “We can perform reliably with renewable generation; there are just things you have to do with renewables that you don’t have to do with (conventional) power generation.”

ERCOT, which serves Texas and a small part of Nevada, said the region got about 15% of its power from wind generation in 2016, and the region’s solar power will grow quickly.

Grid operators said that as renewables become more common they depend more on weather forecasting. Storm fronts and cloud covers sometimes require grid operators to ensure that conventional power is readily available as solar and wind power generation waxes and wanes.

Stu Bresler, senior vice president for operations at PJM Interconnection, which coordinates the movement of power in all or parts of 13 states from New Jersey to Tennessee, said renewables have not harmed reliability in his region.

Steven Greenlee, senior spokesman at the California Independent System Operator, said on one day in May wind and solar served 67% of CALISO’s demand.

“We don’t see the security at risk,” he said.

Follow Us on Twitter

Related stories with Wind and Solar Don’t Harm the Power Grid, Says Dept. of Energy Study

Aug. 3 and 4 set for vote to decide union at Nissan plant -World News
Aug. 3 and 4 set for vote to decide union at Nissan plant 2 months ago
JACKSON, Miss. — Workers at Nissan Motor Co.’s Mississippi plant will decide on Aug. 3 and 4 whether the United Auto Workers will represent them. The company and the UAW said Monday that the National Labor Relations Board had set the election
The Latest: Groups call on Democrats to reject climate bill -World News
The Latest: Groups call on Democrats to reject climate bill 2 months ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on California’s efforts to extend its cap and trade climate change-fighting program (all times local): 12:15 p.m. Environmentalists critical of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to extend California’s cap-and-
ICE Futures Canada quotes and cash prices -World News
ICE Futures Canada quotes and cash prices 2 months ago
WINNIPEG — Grain quotes Monday for tonnes, basis Lakehead: Canola (Vancouver): Open High Low Close Fri July ‘ 17 0.00 0.00 0.00 558.20 558.20 Nov. 507.50 510.20 504.70 506.20 507.30 Jan. ’18 511.30 514.30 509.00 510.20 511.30 March 517.3
Kansas City Board of Trade daily winter wheat closing prices -World News
Kansas City Board of Trade daily winter wheat closing prices 2 months ago
KANSAS CITY, United States — Winter Wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade Mon: OpenHighLowSettleChg. WHEAT 5,000 bu minimum; cents per bushel Sep 512 1/4 512 1/4 503 506 1/2 –7 Dec 538 538 530 532 3/4 –7 1/4 Mar 554 3/4 554 3/4 546
Gold and silver futures -World News
Gold and silver futures 2 months ago
NEW YORK — Futures trading on the NY Merc Monday: Open High Low Settle Chg. GOLD 100 troy oz.; dollars per troy oz. Jul 1229.90 1233.40 1229.90 1232.80 +6.20 Aug 1228.70 1235.40 1227.50 1233.70 +6.20 Sep 1230.60 1236.60 1230.60 1235.30 +6.20 Oct 123
No Trump slump in tourism but there could be a Trump bump -World News
No Trump slump in tourism but there could be a Trump bump 2 months ago
NEW YORK — Last winter, the U.S. tourism industry fretted that Trump administration policies might lead to a “Trump slump” in travel. But those fears may have been premature. International arrivals and travel-related spending are up in 2
Canada Bond yields and prime rates for Monday, July 17 -World News
Canada Bond yields and prime rates for Monday, July 17 2 months ago
Canada Bond yields for Monday as of 4 p.m. (previous day in brackets): One-month: 0.67Three-month: 0.705Six-month: 0.88One-year: 1.08Two-year: 1.193Five-year: 1.50810-year: 1.88730-year: 2.256Interest rates: Prime rate: 2.95% Overnight lending rate: 0.75%
Keeping Your Pet Safe During the Summer -World News
Keeping Your Pet Safe During the Summer 2 months ago
Dr. Jyl shares some tips and tricks for keeping your furry friend safe during the triple-digit temperatures that we’ve been seeing recently. A few helpful reminders: Get a cooling mat for your pet to rest on Freeze fruit in ice for a cool snack or t
Father Paddy’s Cooking Up Crawfish and Catfish Dishes Ahead of Festival -World News
Father Paddy’s Cooking Up Crawfish and Catfish Dishes Ahead of Festival 2 months ago
Chef Justin Severson from Father Paddy’s Public House in Woodland cooked up some dishes on the FOX40 set this morning, and he will also be featured at this year’s California State Fair. Make sure you check out his fabulous original recipes at the
Could Jared Kushner Actually Lose His Security Clearance? We Asked the Experts -World News
Could Jared Kushner Actually Lose His Security Clearance? We Asked the Experts 2 months ago
Calls for White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner to be stripped of his security clearance amplified after it was recently revealed that the President Trump’s son-in-law had attended a campaign season meeting with a Russia-linked lawyer who alleged
Beyoncé’s Mom Hints at the Inspiration Behind One of the Twins’ Names -World News
Beyoncé’s Mom Hints at the Inspiration Behind One of the Twins’ Names 2 months ago
While Beyoncé blessed us with a beautiful first look at her one-month-old twins, Sir and Rumi last Friday morning, it was her mother, Ms. Tina Lawson, who kindly provided the Internet with some extra information about the brand-new babies’ gend
Gift books, Khadi handkerchief to PM instead of bouquets: MHA to states, union territories
  -World News
Gift books, Khadi handkerchief to PM instead of bouquets: MHA to states, union territories   2 months ago
The move comes after a recommendation to the effect by the Prime Minister’s Office.