A group of clean energy advocates representing the fastest growing source of energy and one of the fastest growing sectors of employment in the US has issued a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry urging him to make the his department’s review of energy markets and reliability open and transparent.
The organizations, the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) both welcomed the review and urged that he make the process of reviewing US energy markets open and public. They also cautioned that reduction in demand for coal and retirement of coal and nuclear power plants are due to low natural gas prices and slow demand growth and no the growth of renewable energy.
President Trump (R) and his Administration have repeatedly said they will bring coal jobs back. That’s despite an increasingly large body of evidence that those jobs aren’t likely to come back and renewable energy jobs are picking up across the nation. In fact, the solar industry has even called for coal workers to become solar workers.
“We note that these homegrown energy resources are proven technologies that help support grid reliability,” they wrote in the letter. “These energy resources have already been integrated smoothly into the electric power system in large and increasing amounts, as demonstrated in countless studies and, more importantly, in real-world experience across the US, including in Texas.” Perry was a Republican governor in the state.
“Policies supporting the deployment of these technologies are not playing an important role in the decline of coal and nuclear plants. Numerous studies have conclusively demonstrated that low natural gas prices and stagnant load growth are the principal factors behind the retirements in coal and nuclear plants,” the organizations stated.
Perry initiated the review in an April 14 memo, which required DOE to conduct a study exploring critical issues to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid. The agency was given 60 days after April 19 to respond.
“Public input, including from energy market participants, grid operators and regulators, would help ensure that any resulting recommendations from the study are based on the best available information,” the industry associations contended in the letter.
They argued that conducting such a review in an open and transparent manner is standard and customary.