The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
GOP Senator, Industry Groups Slam DOE Grid Study as Anti-Renewables
"I'm concerned that a hastily developed study, which appears to pre-determine that variable, renewable sources such as wind have undermined grid reliability, will not be viewed as credible, relevant or worthy of valuable taxpayer resources," Grassley wrote.
Grassley also pointed out that 36 percent of energy in Iowa comes from wind, cites rates from the state's largest utility as the ninth-lowest in the nation and instructs Perry that "any study reviewing the impacts of wind energy on grid reliability and security should look closely at Iowa's utility operations as evidence of its success."
Sen. Grassley isn't the only one upset about the grid reliability study. On Tuesday, four national business groups—Advanced Energy Economy, American Council on Renewable Energy, American Wind Energy Association and Solar Energy Industries Association—representing the range of advanced and renewable energy companies in the U.S. also submitted materials to Sec. Perry.
The groups said that the study could be based on "a faulty premise"—"that renewable generation is responsible for the retirement of coal and nuclear generation resources, and that the loss of those resources will lead to declining reliability of the grid."
They concluded that grid reliability is too important for the DOE to not be considering the expertise and insights of those in the industries they represent, so each industry organization provided separate analyses:
• AEE: Changing the Power Grid for the Better shows that today's electric generation mix is more diverse than ever; low-priced gas primarily driving change in resources, followed by flat load growth and competition from renewables; ERCOT and PJM experience shows reliable grid management with high degree of variable renewables and even in extreme conditions.
• ACORE: Energy Fact Check—The Impact of Renewables on Electricity Markets and Reliability. ACORE-produced report covering questions around baseload power and economic impact raised in Secretary Perry's April 14, 2017 memorandum directing a study to explore critical issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid.
• AWEA: Renewable Energy Builds a More Reliable and Resilient Electricity Mix. Grid operators are already reliably integrating large amounts of wind energy, and their studies show they can go much higher. Integrating renewables on the power grid costs less than integrating baseload sources; modern power electronics enable renewables to provide reliability services as well as or better than conventional power plants; and renewables diversify the energy mix, improving economics and resiliency. Renewables are not the primary factor undermining baseload sources – as can be seen by maps of where each is predominately located, cheap natural gas is the primary factor.
• SEIA: Solar & Renewables Benefit Grid & The U.S. Economy. Solar and renewables provide significant advantages to the national grid in terms of reliability, fuel diversity and national security. This SEIA review highlights multiple studies showing that the existing grid can handle high penetrations of renewable energy to the benefit of ratepayers, grid system operators and system performance.
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.
Formosa Plant May Still Be Releasing Plastic Pollution in Texas After $50M Settlement, Activists Find
On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.
Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.