A leaked draft report from the Department of Energy on the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid began circulating recently. The report was requested by DOE Secretary Rick Perry in April in a memo that claimed regulatory burdens on “baseload” power resources (coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric), along with federal subsidies for renewables, could be creating problems for maintaining the reliability of the grid. The leaked report debunks these claims, but is subject to changes from Secretary Perry and his politically appointed staff before it is approved, possibly later this week.
“The Department of Energy’s leaked report confirms common knowledge about the relationship between increased renewable energy sources and electricity reliability: our grid is more reliable than ever before,” said Katie Ottenweller, Senior Attorney and leader of SELC’s Solar Initiative. “Secretary Perry’s political effort to appease fossil fuel special interests does nothing to change the reality on the ground. Renewable energy is making our grid stronger, our nation safer, our electric bills cheaper, and our communities in the Southeast healthier. We urge Secretary Perry to put facts above politics as he and his staff approve the final report. The American public should not be misled: our grid can and will support our nation’s transition to homegrown clean energy.”
In fact, renewable energy has broad bipartisan support from officials across the country who see how renewable energy is improving the lives of their constituents. Military bases throughout the Southeast are committing to increased renewable energy as a means to increase security and all indications are that the U.S. power grid has only a fraction of the renewable resources it could support.
To reiterate these factors to the DOE, SELC sent a letter, along with 20 groups throughout the South, urging Perry to do a full and fair review of renewable energy and grid reliability.