WHICH ENERGY SOURCES ARE ACTUALLY SUSTAINABLE
The electrical grid is an energized system serving all those on it, producers and consumers alike. It can be likened to a nervous system, serving all organs in the human body. Failure, for whatever reason, such as South Australia Black Event or the US Northeast blackout of 2003, can be dangerous and expensive. In the US and southern Canada, independent system operators (ISOs) or regional transmission organizations (RTOs) are responsible for maintaining the grid at a constant level – voltage and frequency. Frequency is kept to tight tolerances.
Serving about 65 million people, the PJM Interconnection is the largest ISO in the US, in terms of population. It serves parts or all of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
During the harsh storm of December 27, 2017, to January 8, 2018, called the Bomb Cyclone, the PJM Interconnection almost failed. John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Foundation discusses an important study of this near failure, and the near failure of other ISOs in the Northeast and Midwest. Failure was prevented by coal-fired power plants increasing electrical generation by 63%, natural gas plants by 20%, nuclear by 5.3% and seldom used oil by 26% over planned generation. These forms of electrical generation are condemned by the environmental industry.
Generation from highly praised and highly subsidized wind and solar fell by 12%. So-called sustainable energy cannot be sustained in bad weather.