Originally published at RealClearEnergy
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has asked regional power grid operators to enhance the electricity system’s dependability—and he’s got ideas about how to do it. But his premises are flawed, and his suggestions misguided. Shapiro wants reliable power, yet he’s banking on unreliable sources to provide it. That approach isn’t just wrongheaded; it’s a recipe for failure.
“Here in the Commonwealth, we are embracing the advantages that cheaper, lower carbon fuel sources offer,” Shapiro wrote in a letter to the management of PJM Interconnection, the non-profit which maintains the electric grid for Pennsylvania and a dozen other states.
The governor was referring to wind and solar power, which aren’t cheaper than traditional fossil fuel plants and can, in some cases, increase overall carbon emissions. In short, they add costs for consumers and undermine reliability. This scenario has played out dramatically in places like Europe and California, where power outages and soaring prices are undisputed facts. Pennsylvanians have, so far, avoided the worst of this because wind and solar still account for only a small amount of PJM’s power supply—low single-digit percentages.
Read more at RealClearEnergy