This article discusses the adaptations needed by the energy companies to handle renewable energy.
The US electricity system is at an extremely sensitive and uncertain juncture. More and more indicators point toward a future in which wind and solar power play a large role. But that future is not locked in. It still depends in large part on policies and economics that, while moving in the right direction, aren’t there yet.
And so the people who manage US electricity markets and infrastructure, who must make decisions with 20-, 30-, even 50-year consequences, are stuck making high-stakes bets in a haze of uncertainty.
That uncertainty has increased markedly under the recent Republican administration(somewhat ironically, given its oft-stated goal of “regulatory certainty”). Under President Obama, the feds established a consistent cross-agency push toward clean energy. The long-term trajectory was clear.
Now it’s been thrown into doubt. President Trump has embraced fossil fuels, and the owners of struggling coal plants are appealing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission(FERC) for bailouts.