Renewable Energy Not a Threat to Grid, Draft Study Finds

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Wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid, Energy Department staff members said in a draft report, contradicting statements by their leader Rick Perry.

“The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards,” according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg.

The findings — which are still under review by the department’s leadership — contrast with Perry’s arguments that “baseload” sources such as coal and nuclear power that provide constant power are jeopardized by Obama-era incentives for renewable energy, making the grid unreliable.

“I’ve asked the staff of the Department of Energy to undertake a critical review of regulatory burdens placed by the previous administration on baseload generators,” Perry said last month. “Over the last several years, grid experts have expressed concern about the erosion of critical baseload resources.”

Two people familiar with the report, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, confirmed the early conclusions though cautioned they were subject to change. It is customary for administration officials to put their own stamp on reports prepared by career staff at federal agencies.

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“Those statements as written are not in the current draft,” Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. She wouldn’t say they are incorrect, just the draft is “constantly evolving.”

The report, which is overdue, could be released as soon as next week.

This article can be read in its entirety at Bloomberg.