Industry Groups Ask Secretary Perry for Study of Electricity Markets and Reliability to be ‘Open and Transparent’ Process

AEE, AWEA, SEIA note that low natural gas prices and slow demand growth are responsible for coal and nuclear plant retirements, not renewable energy growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three national business associations representing the wind, solar, and broad advanced energy industries have called on U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to "initiate a public process" to gather input to inform the 60-day study he has ordered on electricity markets and reliability.


In a letter to Secretary Perry, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) welcomed the Department of Energy's examination of today's electric power system, but stressed that the growth of wind and solar power neither accounts for the challenges now facing coal-fired and nuclear power plants in the nation's electricity markets nor represents any threat to reliable electric power.

"We note that these homegrown energy resources are proven technologies that help support grid reliability," the industry associations wrote. "These energy resources have already been integrated smoothly into the electric power system in large and increasing amounts, as demonstrated in countless studies and, more importantly, in real-world experience across the U.S., including in Texas. Furthermore, we note that policies supporting the deployment of these technologies are not playing an important role in the decline of coal and nuclear plants. Numerous studies have conclusively demonstrated that low natural gas prices and stagnant load growth are the principal factors behind the retirements in coal and nuclear plants."

A memo from Secretary Perry dated April 14 directed the Department of Energy to conduct a study that would "explore critical issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid" and report back in 60 days from April 19.

The industry groups also asked that the DOE study "follow standard practice and be conducted in an open and transparent manner," noting that it is "customary" for agencies developing reports that provide policy recommendations to allow public comment on a draft, prior to the report being finalized.

"Public input, including from energy market participants, grid operators, and regulators, would help ensure that any resulting recommendations from the study are based on the best available information," wrote the industry associations.


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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 43rd anniversary in 2017, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 260,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

About Advanced Energy Economy:
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE's mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE and its State Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 organizations in the advanced energy industry. Learn more at http://www2.seia.org/e/139231/2017-05-01/225rxq/131352513 @AEEnet

About AWEA:
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere's largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Anaheim, California, May 22-26, 2017. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.

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