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An inconvenient report on USA’s energy grid: will the Trump team “disappear it”?

Coal, nuclear and renewable bombshells from Trump’s grid study, REneweconomy, By Joe Romm on 18 July 2017, Think Progress On Saturday, we reported that a leaked draft of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study obtained by Bloomberg debunks his attack on renewable energy.

ThinkProgress has now obtained a copy of that draft, and it has many more surprises — or, rather, findings that are fairly well known to energy experts but may come as an unpleasant surprise to Perry and the White House.

For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore.

 The July draft, which ThinkProgress received from multiple sources, is here, so the public will be able to compare the final “politically-approved” version with the draft prepared by Department of Energy (DOE) staff.

It is widely feared Perry’s team of Trump appointees will simply erase the the study’s inconvenient truths before it finalreport is released to the public.

The release of the study has been delayed several weeks — and the findings in the draft might explain why.

The study was specifically requested to back up Perry’s claims that EPA regulations, along with renewable power sources like solar and wind power, were undermining the U.S. electric grid’s reliability by forcing the premature closure of “baseload” (24–7) power sources like coal and nuclear.

But the leaked July draft concludes the grid is as reliable than ever.

As for baseload plant retirements, factors like environmental regulations and renewable energy subsidies “played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability.”

The draft report finds that since 2002, “most baseload power plant retirements have been the victims of overcapacity and relatively high operating cost but often reflect the advanced age of the retiring plants.”

Overcapacity is a major cause of the turmoil in electricity markets. The report explains that because the grown in electricity demand has flattened since 2008, it is harder for “less competitive plants” to survive………

 since renewables keep dropping in price, we can expect more and more penetration.

It’s really no surprise that DOE staff would conclude renewables are not threatening grid reliability. After all, many countries around the world, such as Germany, have integrated far higher percentages of solar and wind than we have, while maintaining high reliability.

The only surprise remaining is how many of these findings Trump’s political appointees will erase. http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-nuclear-renewable-bombshells-trumps-grid-study-42788/

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July 19, 2017 - Posted by | renewable, USA

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