The nation’s electricity grid is undergoing a transition that is causing an increasing reliance on intermittent energy sources — such as wind and solar — and shifting away from dispatchable (always available when needed) electricity sources such as coal. As we highlighted in another recent post, there are many economic and technical challenges associated with the grid transition that policymakers must address to ensure that we maintain a reliable and affordable supply of electricity during and after the transition.
Unfortunately, the recent electricity emergencies in Texas this month and California last August serve as warnings about the risks of losing fuel diversity —and relying too much on just one or two sources of electricity — and reducing fuel security by shutting down power plants that are reliable because they always have fuel available, regardless of extreme weather and other disruptions.
Our new video highlights some of these challenges. With comments from Don Gaston, CEO of Prairie State Energy Campus, and Steven Winberg, former Assistant Secretary of Energy, the video also emphasizes the importance of research and development, as well as establishing policies to incent the deployment of advanced technologies like carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) to address the challenge of reducing carbon emissions even further from the electric sector, while still maintaining fuel diversity and fuel security.
Watch the video here: