wired.com - 6 days ago
The DoE Is About to Release a Controversial Study of the Grid
This story originally appeared on Project Earth and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
A controversial study of the electric grid, requested by Energy Secretary Rick Perry in April, is finally expected to be released this month. And to some experts, its exact purpose remains, well, questionable at best. In an April memo to energy department staff, Perry called for a study investigating whether certain federal energy policies, such as subsidies for renewables like wind and solar, were prematurely forcing coal, nuclear and other baseload power plants into retirement—and whether this is a problem for the grid’s performance. These issues, he writes, are “central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid.” But the request has sparked alarm among renewable energy advocates, some of whom are bracing themselves for a report they fear will become a vehicle for the Trump administration to attack wind and solar energy. These fears are compounded by the fact that the person Perry has appointed to lead the study is Energy Department political appointee Travis Fisher, a former economist from the right-leaning Institute for Energy Research , who has previously criticized the existence of federal tax credits for renewable energy. And while the report’s findings are still to be seen, other energy experts say the motivation for the study—and what it will actually accomplish once released—remains murky.
Full story on wired.com