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Michael Natrin's picture
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Professional Engineer passionate about renewable energy, microgrid technology, strengthening local communities through innovative and inclusive designs, integrating permaculture principles, and...

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"Gas is a bridge fuel to where I think policies ultimately want to take us," NERC Director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis John Moura said. "Batteries aren't going to do it, and we're going to need a backup fuel for wind and solar. So [gas infrastructure] is important to invest in."

Until next generation small modular nuclear reactors are available, NERC is seeing natural gas as a "bridge" generation source.

Would love to know more about where NERC sees storage fitting into the mix. 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 27, 2022

The question is whether this is a bridge of 'keep our existing gas plants running' or if this will include a push to build new gas projects and risk them becoming stranded assets

larry hooks's picture
larry hooks on Jul 27, 2022

Gas plants particularly current ones perhaps ending their design life or worse are not something we need to rely our grid on. Many were cheaply built for peaking with relatively new technology at the time. 

Christopher Neely's picture
Christopher Neely on Jul 31, 2022

Pretty significant swing here but I am seeing more of this kind of talk as the industry takes a hard look at where our needs are and where the industry is. We're still running into reliability problems with batteries—a perfect example is the largest battery storage facility in the world remains dormant after only a few months of operating due to system glitches. If nuclear energy is not going to win favor as a stable clean power source, then gas seems to be the best option among the not-so-great options, at least until battery technology evolves. 

Vaishali Sharma's picture
Vaishali Sharma on Aug 1, 2022

I believe we need to make extremely strategic plans; 60% of the work should be transferred to clean energy, and the remaining 40% should continue to be done with gas.

Only then should efforts be made to completely minimize reliance on gas be made after a successful invention in energy storage.

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Aug 2, 2022
“Until next generation small modular nuclear reactors are available, NERC is seeing natural gas as a "bridge" generation source.“

You seem to assume that SMRs will be safe, reliable and economical when no commercial SMRs exist and will not until at least 2030. 
Meanwhile, battery systems do exist, prices are coming down, reliability is improving and new technologies are being deployed. 
At the same time wind (especially offshore), solar, geothermal and hydro are well under way to provide more power, less intermittently and more economically.

So, there is little reason to assume that under any scenario SMRs will be viable in anything, if at all, more than niche applications.

Todd Carney's picture
Todd Carney on Aug 6, 2022

Thank you for posting this. It is a very interesting piece. It seems that energy sources like nuclear or gas are subject to political controversies, do you think that will prevent further investment in gas?

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