Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

DOE Grid Study Boosts Coal, Downplays Renewables

Energy
DOE Grid Study Boosts Coal, Downplays Renewables
JSquish / Wikimedia Commons

Natural gas and market forces are the largest influence on the retirement of coal-fired power plants, a long-awaited Department of Energy study concluded.

The study, released late Wednesday night, proposes slashing certain regulations, including reducing permitting requirements at coal-fired power plants, to make it easier for nuclear and coal plants to keep operating.


While the study does not issue an all-out attack on renewable energy, as many advocates feared following Secretary Rick Perry's aggressive April memo ordering the study, it downplays renewables' reliability benefits to the grid and suggests price changes to wind and solar. A draft of the study from DOE staff, leaked earlier this month, concluded that renewable energy is not a threat to grid reliability.

In response, Janet Redman, U.S. policy director at Oil Change International, released the following statement:

"The Department of Energy's grid study does little more than reveal the Trump administration's pro-fossil fuel bias and anti-regulation agenda.

"Trump and his dirty DOE refuse to face the facts—thanks to growth in renewable energy and efficiency, America's demand for electricity is flatlining, and clean energy options like solar and wind power are outperforming dirty energy like coal. Yet, this study ignores those facts and calls for fast-tracking coal-fired power plants, fracked gas pipelines and other dirty projects that would lock in climate pollution for decades. The DOE needs to pull its head out of the sand.

"Instead of embracing the clean energy future that Americans want, the Trump administration is looking backwards. Propping up a dirty energy system of the past at the expense of renewables makes the nation's energy grid more polluting and American families less secure."

For a deeper dive:

AP, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, WSJ, FT, NPR, Bloomberg, Washington Examiner, LA Times, The Hill. Commentary: ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column. Background: Climate Nexus

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less
A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less
President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less