Grid Operator PJM Issues Warning on Coal

One of the nation’s largest grid operators PJM says the energy transition into renewables and away from coal and natural gas could lead to electricity shortages before 2030. “We can’t simply shut down all thermal resources nuclear or fossil fuels and replace them with non-thermal [renewables],” PJM vice president Asim Haque told Kentucky lawmakers last week.

“We are concerned about a supply crunch.” Of PJM’s roughly 180 gigawatts of generating capacity, at least 40gw are scheduled to be retired by 2030, he said, and some 90% of what would replace that 40gw would be solar, wind, or battery resources. In part to avoid any looming shortages, Haque said PJM has created a system to give a “Capacity Value” for energy sources, with solar and wind generally lower-value, and nuclear high-value, followed generally by fossil fuels.