The AEE and AWEA aim to answer the same questions asked by energy secretary Perry about the reliability and market rules of the US electric power grid in his 60-day review. Source: Flickr/ Gerry Machen
In the wake of Rick Perry’s Department of Energy investigation into the effect of renewable energy integration on the grid, two clean energy lobbyist groups have released similar analysis.
The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) jointly commissioned a report that aims to answer the same questions asked by energy secretary Perry about the reliability and market rules of the US electric power grid in his 60-day review.
The study concludes that there is “no evidence” that a renewable energy power mix endangers grid reliability. When news of Perry’s impending study broke, clean energy advocates were concerned the analysis would rule in favour of fossil fuels, considering president Trump’s affinity for such technologies. Doubts were also cast as to the future of the US wind and solar industries; especially when budget leaks revealed cuts to renewable energy before the results of the study were even released.
The new report finds however that low-priced natural gas is the technology that bears most of a threat to coal-fired power plants, not renewable energy. An overall low national demand for electricity is also a key contributor to closure of coal and nuclear plants. This leaves state and federal policies pertaining to renewables much lesser factors in their demise.
“Recently, some have raised concerns that current electric market conditions may be undermining the financial viability of certain conventional power plant technologies (like existing coal and nuclear units) and thus jeopardizing electric system reliability. In addition, some point to federal and state policies supporting renewable energy as a primary cause of such impacts,” states the report. “The evidence does not support this view.”
The report commissioned by the AEE and AWEA follows the bodies, together with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), sending a letter to Perry urging him to “initiate a public process” and let his study be conducted in an open and transparent manner. This analysis is their answer to providing commentary and recommendations open for public comment.
Perry’s study, set to be completed this summer, will be open to public comment then.
Overall, the parties concluded that increased renewable generation if anything made the grid more resilient: “We believe that, taken together, these reports demonstrate that the US electric power system is more diverse in its energy sources than ever before, and due to the flexible way these resources are now managed, becoming more reliable and resilient as a result.”
The full report can be viewed here.
The USA solar pipeline hit 9.8 GW in August 2019, according to market analysts, Wood Mackenzie so what does this mean for the solar sector moving forward? Are module shipments constrained? Have manufacturers raised prices for late-comers? What impact will this have on 2020 projects and what can we expect for the ITC negotiations? These questions and more will be discussed in this informative, free webinar. - With almost 10 GW of solar pipeline, how is this affecting the supply chain and cost for panels? - How likely is it that the ITC will be renewed, what trends are emerging in terms of beating the step down? - How helpful are emerging trends and technologies (e.g. bifacial panels, floating solar, data aggregation and management) in helping to beat the ITC step down? - Trade wars: what impact did section 201 have on the market, and what could we expect moving forward This webinar acts as a primer for the Solar & Storage Finance Summit which takes place on 29 & 30 October in New York City.
Now in its sixth successful year, Solar & Storage Finance USA is the only event which looks at raising capital for solar, storage and collocated solar and storage projects in the USA. The conference will help delegates understand how providers are evolving propositions for storage and how they can access capital for standalone solar or storage, and co-located projects. Meet debt providers, funders, utilities, corporate off takers and blue chip energy firms with capital to invest and developers with credible pipelines.