- A economic and reliability analysis of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan conducted by grid operator PJM concluded that increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energy could reduce the need for coal plant closures, RTO Insider reports.
- The report considered eight compliance scenarios requested by the Organization of PJM States Inc. (OPSI) and seven proposed by PJM. Four high renewables and energy efficiency scenarios forecast 20,000 MW of steam generation retirement by 2029. Four low renewable and energy efficiency scenarios forecast 40,000 MW of steam generation retirements by 2029.
- PJM concluded that increased energy efficiency and renewables would lower the price of greenhouse gas emissions and make more fossil generation economic. State-by-state compliance will require more retirements than regional compliance and be almost 30% more expensive.
Coal plants otherwise slated for retirement under the EPA's proposed carbon regulations could be rescued by some unlikely sources, RTO Insider reports — renewables and energy efficiency. The grid operator's study of compliance plans found that increasing clean energy capacity in its territory could save up to 20,000 MW of coal generation.
State-by-state compliance, PJM also found, will require more retirements than regional compliance and be almost 30% more expensive.
EPA is targeting the middle of this summer for finalizing its plan to cut U.S emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. It will set emissions reduction goals beginning in 2020 and establish a glide path to full compliance between 2020 and 2029.
In moderate scenarios, early retirements of less efficient, high-emissions coal and natural gas facilities would eliminate higher than required levels of emissions early, reducing the need for re-dispatch later in the 2020 to 2029 period despite the rising price of GHG emissions as reduction requirements become more stringent.
Increased use of energy efficiency, renewables, and nuclear power were found to reduce energy market prices but, because they also reduce CO2 prices, they reduce the need for fossil facility re-dispatching.
The study found that PJM has 8,000 MW of generation that, if shuttered, will necessitate new transmission in 2020, increasing to almost 40,000 MW in 2029.