The Department of Energy (DOE) will release a study soon that could profoundly influence the future of the electricity sector in the U.S. The study is expected to examine whether the retirement of baseload electricity sources ― particularly, coal-fired and nuclear power plants ― might be threatening the reliability and resilience of the nation’s electric grid. (So far, almost 600 coal-fired electric generating units have either retired or announced plans to retire.) ACCCE’s recent paper urges the DOE study to make a distinction between reliability and resilience in discussing the advantages and disadvantages of different electricity sources; support resilience analysis and the establishment of uniform resilience criteria; evaluate the risks associated with over-reliance on natural gas to generate electricity; accurately characterize the role of EPA policies in causing coal retirements; and include correct information on energy subsidies.
We hope the DOE study addresses these topics so that policy makers can make well-informed decisions.