Shutting Out Natural Gas Can Destabilize the Electric Grid
- Oct 8, 2021 2:29 pm GMT
It has been an annus horribilis for the nation’s electric utility companies. Deadly storms and wildfires have left hundreds of thousands — and for short periods millions — of electricity customers without power, sometimes for days and weeks.
These destructive weather events have come at a time when utilities are being squeezed from all directions: By customer needs, by activists’ demands, by state regulators, and by the zero-carbon urgency of the Biden administration as expressed in its bill, the Build Back Better Act, to upgrade and overhaul the nation’s infrastructure.
The utilities themselves have set ambitious carbon-emission-reduction goals, but in some cases, they still can’t meet the demands of the government. They are caught between the clear need to harden their infrastructure against severe weather and shuttering their reliable but polluting coal plants and mothballing their dependable gas turbines.
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