Quantcast

DOE Grid Study Boosts Coal, Downplays Renewables

Energy
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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More
Slowing deforestation, planting more trees, and cutting emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases like methane could cut another 0.5 degrees C or more off global warming by 2100. South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

By Dana Nuccitelli

Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.

Read More
Sponsored
A baby burrowing owl perched outside its burrow on Marco Island, Florida. LagunaticPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.

Read More
Amazon and other tech employees participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice continue to protest today. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.

Read More
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 186 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 22. "Ravenous swarms" of desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia threaten to ravage the entire East Africa subregion, the UN warned on Jan. 20. TONY KARUMBA / AFP / Getty Images

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More