Friday, October 10, 2014

On The Road To New England; Cost Is Trivial; The Grid May Fail -- October 10, 2014

This is a most incredible story.

When the EPA proposed new coal-plant rules, they estimated that 10 GW of electricity would be "lost," or "banned" or "outlawed."

It turns out the estimate of slightly less than 10 GW was greatly off-target, by a factor of 7 times. CNS News is reporting that the total loss of electricity will more than 70 GW when the EPA rules go into effect.
Power plants generating 72 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in 37 states have either closed or are scheduled to shut their doors to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, according to the Institute for Energy Research (IER).
The loss of generating capacity is “over seven times the amount originally predicted by EPA modeling,” IER’s updated report, released October 7, noted.
Over 94 percent of the closures involve coal-fired power plants, which currently provide one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, even though coal was the only fuel that was able to keep up with the higher demand during last January's polar vortex.
The result will be higher utility prices and lower reliability, IER warned.
This past winter demonstrated in real time the value of the existing coal fleet. During the winter of 2014, coal was the only fuel with the ability to meet demand increases for electricity, providing 92 percent of incremental electricity in January/February, 2014 versus the same months in 2013,” the IER report stated.
When I read this report, the "cost" seems to be the less important point. The bigger point is that the grid may simply fail if the EPA rules are allowed to go into effect. A grid failure is not trivial.

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