EPA's aggressive climate regulations threaten U.S. power grid stability, study warns

North Dakota-commissioned research highlights the potential for mass blackouts and economic consequences.

EPA's aggressive climate regulations threaten U.S. power grid stability, study warns
AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File
Remove Ads

A study commissioned by the North Dakota state government has raised concerns about the impact of President Joe Biden's aggressive climate regulations on the stability of the U.S. electric grid. The research, conducted by Always On Energy Research in May, suggests that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently finalized regulations targeting fossil-fuel-fired power plants are not technologically feasible and could lead to widespread power outages affecting millions of Americans.

The study's findings echo the concerns voiced by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, regional grid operators, and power utility companies. These entities have warned that the retirement of coal power generation units, as a result of the EPA's regulations, could lead to unreliable conditions as intermittent and weather-dependent green energy sources, such as wind and solar, replace them, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R.) criticized Biden's Green Agenda, stating that it is "shutting down baseload power and is rapidly destabilizing our electrical grid." He warned that electricity costs, which have already risen 30% under Biden's administration, will continue to skyrocket as real power demand increases for the first time in decades.

The EPA's finalized regulations, which are part of a multi-pronged effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions produced by the nation's power sector, require existing coal plants to slash their carbon footprint by 90% by 2032. This could force the majority of such plants across the country to close over the next two decades. The regulations also mandate significant emissions reductions for new natural-gas-fired power plants that operate more than 20% of the time.

The study highlights the potential economic consequences of the rules, including increased compliance costs for coal plant operators, reduced competitiveness with alternative power sources, expedited coal retirements, higher electricity prices, and supply chain issues for coal-reliant industries. It also raises concerns about the disproportionate effect on low-income citizens, particularly in rural areas of North Dakota.

Experts warn that replacing dispatchable power sources like coal plants with solar and wind power generators, which are highly dependent on proper wind conditions, could lead to grid instability. Always On Energy Research estimates that the majority of the Midwest could experience nearly 9 million megawatt hours of unserved load, resulting in blackouts costing tens of billions of dollars.

Critics argue that the EPA's regulations are ill-timed and detrimental to grid reliability, as they encourage the closure of facilities that keep the grid functioning while simultaneously promoting the integration of less reliable wind and solar power.

The EPA is expected to finalize a second batch of regulations targeting existing natural gas power plants in the coming months, further raising concerns about the future stability of the U.S. power grid.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads