Today, the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) released a new infographic outlining the risks facing the electric grid and how state and federal policies can address its most pressing challenges. Creating policies that put reliability first is critical to navigating a demanding energy transition while minimizing impacts on American consumers.
Between 2017 and 2020, the United States saw a 155 percent increase in electric grid disturbances – a disappointing figure for a country known for its energy leadership. These growing issues are deeply tied to the aggressive decommissioning of dispatchable baseload resources like natural gas and nuclear in order to satisfy emissions reduction plans that don’t always sufficiently plan for reliability.
According to the Department of Energy, the United States suffered 383 disturbances in 2020 alone, up from 150 experienced in 2017. Data points to a rising risk of unprecedented problems like insufficient generation and fuel supplies. Competitive markets across the country are struggling to adapt to inconsistent and constantly shifting policy mandates, while subsidies to intermittent resources make it harder and harder to keep enough dispatchable power online to keep the grid resilient.
“It is critical that policymakers understand the importance of prioritizing reliability. Americans need to trust in the power grid’s ability to withstand high demand, extreme weather, and the diverse energy mix that will come amidst the energy transition. We hope that by providing a visual of the growing risks to consumers, we can help regulators and politicians see that what matters most is ensuring we have the necessary tools to secure a reliable, affordable, and clean energy future,” said Todd Snitchler, president and CEO of EPSA.
Print and digital versions of the full infographic are available here.