Grid Watchdog Issues Warning About Possible Blackouts, Questions Reliability of Solar and Wind Power

The widespread retirement of fossil fuel-based power generators and the increasing adoption of renewable energy over the next decade could undermine the reliability of America’s electricity grid, according to a recent report by power grid watchdog North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The report, dated Dec. 13, highlights “clear evidence of growing resource adequacy concerns over the next 10 years.”

The power grid watchdog is predicting “capacity deficits” in regions where future generator retirements will be higher than new replacements, which could leave a part of the demand unmet. The report states that “wind, solar PV, and hybrid generation are projected to be the primary additions to the resource mix over the 10-year assessment period; this leads the continued energy transition as older thermal generators retire.”

The transition to renewable energy requires ensuring that the resource mix “satisfies capacity, energy, and essential reliability service (ERS) needs.” The report also reveals that new wind and solar PV resources are susceptible to tripping or power disruption during normal grid fault conditions, which may compromise grid reliability.

The potential retirement of more than 83 gigawatts of fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power supply through 2033 could exacerbate energy, capacity, or essential reliability service issues in regions at high and elevated risks of electricity supply shortages, according to NERC.

NERC is warning that “overly rigid” environmental regulations and energy policies without provisions for electric grid reliability could force generators to seek deactivation even when there is resource adequacy, potentially significantly impacting the projected sufficiency of resources.

Kevin Kilty, a retired mechanical engineer, commented on the report in an article by Just the News, highlighting the need for regulators and policymakers to consider the effects on the electric grid in their rules and policies and make provisions that safeguard grid reliability.
Kilty also warned about recent development and risks.

The article also discusses the potential impact of President Biden’s energy policies on the electric grid, pointing out that his actions, such as cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline and issuing a moratorium on oil and natural gas leasing activities, could hinder energy production. The administration’s policies to electrify appliances and vehicles could further strain the grid’s reliability.

At the same time, the report notes opposition to pipelines and other infrastructure by the Biden administration despite the NERC report advising boosting natural gas infrastructure. Kilty compared the current situation to the energy crisis in the 1970s and cautioned about potential problems if actions aren’t taken in time to solve the issues by definition.

The ongoing shift to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, without adequate provisions for the reliability of the power grid, brings a heightened risk to power reliability, according to Asim Haque, senior vice president for state and member services at PJM – a regional transmission organization coordinating the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and Washington, D.C.- warns that “there is a concern about a supply crunch at end of decade.”

Beth Brelje contributed to the reporting.

This retirement of fossil fuel-based power generators and increasing adoption of renewable energy could pinch on America’s electricity reliability over the next decade. Fossil fuel-based power generators retirement will be higher than new replacements.confirms recent report by North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). ST1111111112222222222222222222221


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