Editor: This week, Bloomberg News reported that a study by the US Department of Energy showed our current grid can perform with wind and solar power. A leaked draft of the Energy Department’s highly anticipated study on grid reliability finds that renewable energy doesn’t harm grid reliability; that market trends, not regulation, have driven the shift to cleaner, safer forms of energy; and that technology like energy efficiency and demand response are actually helping to increase reliability. These findings contradict statements made by high-level Trump administration officials—including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has raised concerns about the impact of renewables on the grid.
In the past few months, we’ve seen the Trump administration repeatedly risking public health by trying to move us backwards towards coal, slashing the EPA’s budget and tearing down limits on mercury, smog, and carbon pollution. Donald Trump put a politician who sued the EPA over a dozen times, and helped raise nearly $4 million from corporate polluters in charge of protecting our kids from pollution. Instead, we should be putting more funds into the EPA for programs like The Solar Training Network, which addresses a critical need for high-quality, local, accessible training in solar installation and related skills. This is smart policy that can support economic transition as coal is dwindling in supply, harming our environment, and no longer cost-effective.
This study from experts and President Trump’s own administration show his attacks on clean energy are unfounded— renewable energy does not threaten grid reliability. Trump administration allies, including the former head of Trump’s Energy Department transition team, are already scrambling to downplay the significance of this report because it demonstrates how their attempts at attacking clean energy are out of step with the realities of America’s electricity markets and how they operate.
Despite President Trump’s best efforts, the unstoppable shift to clean energy is already underway, driven by American states, cities, and businesses that see the economic opportunity climate action presents.
There’s a reason why the private market is trending toward clean energy like wind and solar—it’s safe, affordable, and reliable. When will Donald J. Trump catch up?
Kelsey Crane, Fairfax