Two studies make case for diversified resources to generate electricity

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy suggesting that keeping all the nations' existing energy sources for generating electricity are necessary for the economy has been followed by an analysis that spells out how valuable those diversified resources are, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce release said. 

The study on the U.S. electricity grid concluded that balanced and diverse resources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear and renewable energy will assist the nation's economy and safety, the release said. An analysis of that study by IHS Markit, co-sponsored by the chamber's Global Energy Institute, found that the nation's current electricity resources cost the country $114 billion, and this is lower than it would be without a balanced mix, the release said. 

"Nuclear energy and coal are the most threatened parts of our current electricity mix, but they are both extremely important to maintain reliability and to keep costs in check,” Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, said in the release. “Subsidies, mandates, and market conditions have combined to place our current diverse portfolio at serious risk. Policymakers must be focused on maintaining balance, and reject approaches that limit our options.”

“Our electricity grid must work 24/7, and 60 percent of our electricity use is baseload power that is always required,” Harbert said. “While there is an important place for all types of resources, being too dependent on less reliable sources leaves us extremely vulnerable, especially during events like the Polar Vortex or a fuel supply disruption. These costs are often not considered during discussions about electricity sources.”

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