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Energy Officials Issue 'Sobering' Warning About Widespread Summer Blackouts Triggered by Closure of Fossil Fuel Plants

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Blackouts could hit much of America’s Midwest and West this summer, according to a risk assessment from the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

“It’s a pretty sobering report, and it’s clear the risks are spreading,” John Moura, director of reliability assessment and performance analysis for the regulatory body, said in a news briefing, according to Bloomberg.

“I certainly do think it’s our most cautionary tale here,” he said.

One of the issues is that in the rush to shutter plants powered by fossil fuels, energy providers have not made up for that capacity loss with other forms of energy.

“The pace of our grid transformation is out of sync” with what consumers need, Moura said.

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“We see this risk widening, more resources retiring at an accelerated pace,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.

In the Midwest, Americans will face a power crunch because generating capacity is down 2.3 percent from a year ago. However, demand is expected to be high as Americans try to resume their pre-pandemic lifestyles.

A heat wave or low wind speeds that limit what wind farms can produce could trigger issues for power companies.

Further interruptions are expected as aging coal-fired power plants that are being called upon to produce more electricity break down more often, Moura said.

He cited the example of gas-fired plants in Texas that recently shut down during a heat wave.

The report said a drought affecting the West could have a direct impact on power production by limiting what hydroelectric dams might produce.

Other issues are man-made, including supply chain snags that are delaying solar energy projects in the Southwest and the completion of vital transmission lines.

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Forbes Editor-in-chief Steve Forbes said policy failures are part of the problem.

“The problem isn’t that we’ll be experiencing an unforeseeable surge in electricity; it’s that bad government policies have created shortages,” he wrote Thursday on Forbes.

“Chief among these are the mandates that utilities use more and more so-called renewable sources of energy — primarily from windmills and solar panels — while pressuring them to shut down fossil-fuel-fired generating plants and to decommission nuclear facilities,” Forbes wrote.

“The trouble is that alternative energy sources are expensive and pose their own serious environmental hazards. And they are not replacing the output of power that those closed traditional facilities produced,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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