Americans across the country are feeling the effects of high energy bills. Now another issue has appeared on the horizon: For the third year in a row, electric-grid operators are warning of impending blackouts throughout the American west. This is thanks in large part to the push to replace traditional energy sources like natural gas with renewable energy and battery storage.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The risk of electricity shortages is rising throughout the U.S. as traditional power plants are being retired more quickly than they can be replaced by renewable energy and battery storage. Power grids are feeling the strain as the U.S. makes a historic transition from conventional power plants fueled by coal and natural gas to cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar power, and aging nuclear plants are slated for retirement in many parts of the country.
The challenge is that wind and solar farms—which are among the cheapest forms of power generation—don’t produce electricity at all times and need large batteries to store their output for later use. While a large amount of battery storage is under development, regional grid operators have lately warned that the pace may not be fast enough to offset the closures of traditional power plants that can work around the clock.
We have the technology and the resources to provide reliable energy to Americans. But instead of recognizing the limitations of and dangers posed by renewable energy, climate activists have pushed for a whole-hearted embrace of renewable energy before we have the adequate technology to make renewable energy a major part of our energy makeup.
The article continues:
Faced with the prospect of having to call for blackouts when demand exceeds supply, many grid operators are now grappling with the same question: How to encourage the build-out of batteries and other new technologies while keeping traditional power plants from closing too quickly.
It’s admirable to try to promote cleaner energy but we need to do it in a way that is technologically feasible and won’t hurt Americans. Included in the push to renewable energy are closures of nuclear power plants. This is disastrous because nuclear power is carbon free, cheap, and reliable.
If climate activists in places like California are serious about lowering carbon emissions, and are willing to recognize the reality before them, they would be building more nuclear power plants instead of closing theirs.
Adding intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar power make an electric grid difficult to operate and vulnerable to blackouts when power demand surges. There are always going to be heat waves that hit during the summer, and people will need more electricity to cool their homes and remain safe during those times. As renewable energy clearly isn’t up to the job, we need to find alternatives to make energy affordable and reliable for the American people.