Against the backdrop of an accelerating energy transition, overlooked risks to grid stability and energy security are becoming increasingly urgent in Kentucky and across the country. Ill-informed, politically motivated regulations designed to force traditional power sources into early retirement have created a widening gap between power supply and demand, straining the grid to the point of failure. Unless something changes, Kentucky families and businesses will face higher energy costs and be more vulnerable to power outages and rolling blackouts like those that struck last winter.
The Risks of a Premature Transition to Renewables
While renewable energy sources are essential for our future, a premature, forced shift before the grid is ready will have unintended and disastrous consequences, including:
- Increased Risk of Blackouts: Not all megawatts are created equal. It is important to maintain access to energy sources that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — sometimes referred to as dispatchable resources. An overreliance on renewable sources can strain the energy grid, as these sources are often intermittent and dependent on weather conditions.
- Risks to Energy Independence: Dependence on a limited number of energy sources can make us vulnerable to price fluctuations, disruptions in supply, and geopolitical tensions. By utilizing a balanced mix of energy sources, we can preserve our energy independence and security.
- Negative Economic Impact: A sudden transition to renewables may lead to job losses and economic instability in communities that rely on traditional and lower cost power sources.
What EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
“I am extremely concerned when it comes to the pace of retirements that we’re seeing, of generators that are needed for reliability on our system. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation and other grid operators have warned about this.”
“As an engineering matter, there is no substitute for reliable, dispatchable generation. Intermittent renewable resources like wind and solar are simply incapable, by themselves, of ensuring the stability of the bulk electric system.”
“It’s highly troubling because we are retiring these plants before their attributes are being fully replaced… that’s why the loss of coal plants and natural gas plants and nuclear plants is so concerning from a grid reliability perspective.”
“We are retiring dispatchable generating resources at a pace and in an amount that is far too fast and far too great, and it is threatening our ability to keep the lights on. The problem is not the addition of wind and solar and other renewable resources. The problem is the subtraction of dispatchable resources such as coal and gas.”
“Complying with Washington bureaucrat’s latest wishes requires technology that producers cannot access, costs that they cannot swallow, and pain that lower-income ratepayers cannot stomach.”
“When you do the math – when you look at the rate of retirements, you look at the rate of growth, and you add in the current rate of throughput for our queue – we are headed for some trouble.
We strongly encourage an approach to policymaking that expressly evaluates reliability impacts in the development phase of policy, not after the fact.”