The following is an excerpt from America’s Power President and CEO, Michelle Bloodworth’s speech at the United States Energy Association’s 19th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum. The full remarks are available below.
“There are at least two things I hope you will take away from my remarks today.
First, our nation needs a genuine all-the-above energy strategy that promotes economic growth and energy security. By genuine, I mean a strategy that does more than give lip service to all-the-above. Right now, our energy strategy and decisions are driven, at times, more by biased preferences and wishes than by realistic considerations.
The U.S. needs to take advantage of all electricity resources that can provide reliable, resilient, and affordable electricity. These resources include fossil fuels, nuclear power, hydro, wind, solar, battery storage, demand response, and likely others in the future.
The war in Ukraine has taught the world many energy lessons, especially (1) the need for countries to be energy secure, (2) the geostrategic importance of energy, and (3) the risk to national and economic security when countries become overly dependent on just a few resources.
Second, the coal fleet has to be an essential part of an all-the-above strategy for the foreseeable future because it provides –
- A very high percentage of accredited capacity (90%) to help avert capacity shortfalls during periods of peak demand, such as extreme weather;
- Fuel security (an average of more than 60 days of on-site fuel);
- Most of the other reliability attributes (including essential reliability services) that are needed to keep the lights on; and
- Optionality for the grid when other electricity resources are not available or are too expensive.