DOE Electric Grid Report: Shale Killed Coal, Go Easy on Renewables

Two weeks ago the U.S. Dept. of Energy released a 187-page study called “Electricity Markets and Reliability” (full copy below). Often referred to as “the grid study,” it is the result of a directive in April by the then-new Secretary of DOE, Rick Perry, to develop a report including an assessment of the reliability and resilience of the electric grid and an overview of the evolution of electricity markets. Perry called it “long overdue.” Radical environmentalists predicted the study would take aim at so-called renewable sources of energy and promote more coal use. What did the study actually find? (1) The shale gas revolution had a bigger impact on the decline of coal than did the federal government propping up renewables. (2) The electric grid is in pretty good shape, even though it flows a lot more electricity than it did eight years ago. (3) Lawmakers should not be too eager to force the use of more solar and wind as sources of electricity–not if you want a reliable grid that doesn’t crash when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Natural gas plays a big part in the report…

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