FERC Ruling Underscores The Looming Energy Crisis

FERC Ruling Underscores importance of The Looming Energy Crisis

The recent FERC ruling against the NYISO underscores what has been established in the book The Looming Energy Crisis, Are Blackouts Inevitable?

Can Americans count on having a reliable supply of electricity?

In essence, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled against the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO’s) capacity auction proposal.

The ruling concerned the capacity market where NYISO and other ISOs, including California’s CAISO, have been attempting to approve the use of wind and solar as legitimate reserve capacity.

It was the lack of legitimate reserve capacity, i.e., relying on solar capacity that disappeared when the sun set, that caused the recent rolling blackouts in California.

Utility Dive (A publication that reports on the utility industry) said:

“FERC’s order, issued heading into the Labor Day weekend, now puts New York in the same boat as a few other states struggling to have regional capacity markets accommodate their preferred energy resources.”

The preferred energy resources mentioned here are wind and solar.

Utility Dive also reported:

“The commission is ‘erecting barriers and making it harder for states to achieve their energy goals,’ said Chris Casey, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Climate and Clean Energy Program.”

This establishes that it’s all about global warming and climate change.

The ISOs in question want wind and solar to be approved reserve capacity, in essence claiming that the availability of wind and solar can be predicted. (Obviously the time of the rising and setting of the sun can be predicted, but not when the sun doesn’t shine during the day.)

There are basically three types of auctions conducted by RTO/ISOs:

  • Day ahead and real-time auctions that determine which source of electricity, i.e., wind, solar, natural gas, coal or nuclear, will fill the daily demand for electricity.
  • Capacity auctions that will determine which of these sources will be available in the future to meet demand.

This illustration from The Looming Energy Crisis shows how reserve capacity is diminished when wind and solar are approved as reserve capacity.

The fact that this is actually a political issue is borne out by the vote of the FERC commissioners.

The commissioners voted three to one to reject the NYISO proposal with Commissioner Glick, the Democrat appointee, the only dissenting member. The other commissioners are Republican appointees.

Glick said: 

“FERC has perverted the ISO’s buyer-side market power mitigation rules, into a mind-boggling series of unnecessary and unreasoned obstacles aimed at stalling New York’s efforts to transition the state toward its clean energy future.”

This further establishes that global warming and climate change are behind the actions of the RTO/ISOs.

However, aside from climate change, the more fundamental issue is whether Americans can count on having a reliable supply of electricity.

It’s extremely important for every American to understand how the electric grid works, and that is the purpose behind The Looming Energy Crisis, Are Blackouts Inevitable?

. . .

You can read the introduction and look at the Table of Contents here:

Looming Energy Crisis, Are Blackouts Inevitable?

OR

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