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Tuesday
Aug292017

United States Department of Energy releases report on electric grid reliability and resilience

On August 23, the US Department of Energy released a report focused on a variety of challenges affecting the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid. The report was initiated by the Secretary of Energy in April, with a focus on the effects of various economic and political factors on electric grid operations, including baseload generation powered by nuclear and coal.

The report highlights the significant impact of lower-cost natural gas on the retirement of generators that previously operated as baseload generation. The report also discusses the impacts of lower electricity demand (in part due to investments in energy efficiency), increased output from renewable resources, and various environmental regulations on nuclear and coal-fired power plants. DOE makes several recommendations for ways to improve reliability and resiliency, including for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward with efforts to improve price formation in wholesale markets and potentially find ways to compensate assets providing important reliability characteristics.

DOE emphasized that it hopes this report will encourage ongoing discussion on the importance of electric grid reliability. DOE is accepting stakeholder feedback on the report.