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MADNESS: Environmentalism likely to lead to electricity shortages in US

Thomas Lambert

May 10, 2022

Electric-grid operators across the US are warning that electricity shortages are on the horizon as environmental policies have led to the shutdown of too many plants to fulfill demand, and replacement green tech is lagging.

“Every market around the world is trying to deal with the same issue,” said Brad Jones, interim chief executive of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. “We’re all trying to find ways to utilize as much of our renewable resources as possible… and at the same time make sure that we have enough dispatchable generation to manage reliability.”

Last year, many will remember that Texas experienced a massive power outage during a flash snowstorm, leaving many residents to huddle in their gas-powered cars for heat as the state struggled to utilize its dwindling gas-fired power plants.

The problem isn’t exclusive to Texas, though.

In California, regulators predict delays in new supplies needed to create renewable energy infrastructure to offset the reckless closure of gas-fired power plants across the state. Those in the industry are predicting the delays could last well into 2025.

“We need to make sure that we have sufficient new resources in place and operational before we let some of these retirements go. Otherwise, we are putting ourselves potentially at risk of having insufficient capacity,” said Mark Rothleder, chief operating officer of the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid.

MISO Chief Executive John Bear is now cautioning states that they should consider cycling different types of power generation to offset the risk of electricity shortages caused by a sudden transition to green technology.

“I am concerned about [electricity shortages],” Bear said. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource.”

Meanwhile, leaders around the world, including US President Joe Biden, are warning of impending food shortages as the price of fuel, fertilizer, and everything else skyrockets due to inflation and supply chains routinely get disrupted.

All in all, it looks like the US and the rest of the world are in for a very tough couple of years.

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