Biggest U.S. Grid System Can Meet Clean Power Plan Targets
The biggest regional grid in the United States can meet its obligations under President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan with less than a 3% increase in electricity costs, according to an analysis released last week.
The power suppliers that make up PJM Interconnection LLC, which serves part of the U.S. Midwest and mid-Atlantic region, “can meet emission reduction targets for less than $2 a megawatt-hour, or 1 to 3% of average wholesale electricity costs,” Bloomberg reports. “Even with the added expense, the system will continue to attract new generators to satisfy the region’s growing power needs.”
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Across multiple scenarios for achieving the CPP’s 32% greenhouse gas reduction, from 2005 levels, by 2030, adequate electricity supplies “were maintained throughout the PJM footprint,” said PJM senior market strategist Muhsin Abdurrahman. The study showed states across the territory would pay less for electricity if they worked together, rather than trying to cut emissions and maintain power supplies on their own.
PJM concluded that cheap natural gas would drive higher-polluting coal plants out of the market, while “the existing fleet of nuclear reactors can become economic as states look to maintain carbon-free generation to meet the targets,” Bloomberg notes. (h/t to the Georgetown Climate Center for pointing us to this story)