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Forefront Friday – Summer Energy Blackouts
In the Wallstreet Journal this weekend, the National American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) warned 2/3s of the US could experience blackouts this summer saying “The forced transition to green energy is distorting energy markets and destabilizing the grid.”
Droughts, combined with the shutdown of many coal and nuclear plants since last summer have created an environment that is putting businesses and homeowners at risk of blackouts. One problem is that subsidies allow wind and solar companies to be profitable even during times of limited usage. As renewable sources of power come online, coal and nuclear plants can’t be profitable running only some of the time. Consequently, they are shutting down leaving the grid dependent on wind and solar power which are not reliable 24/7.
In Michigan, higher prices and rolling blackouts are a distinct possibility due to the closing of the Palisade’s nuclear generating station last month. The closing takes with it 6.5% of the state’s electricity production and 15% of its clean energy. The closing adds to an already fragile grid and with the anticipated closing of coal powered Campbell Power Plant, Michigan consumers and businesses will be rewarded with higher prices and less reliable service.
Wind and solar power plants are dependent on the weather, not exactly a consistent or predictable commodity.