On December 15, the North American Electric Reliability Corps. (NERC) published a report warning of future energy shortfalls in upcoming years due to increased dependence on renewable energy. According to NERC, the growth of wind and solar power on the country’s electric grid could lead to energy shortfalls during peak demand in upcoming years. NERC is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the reliability of the Bulk-Power System (BPS) in North America. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards; annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability; monitors the BPS through system awareness; and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel.
The report asserts that the California-Mexico region and the Midwest could both face electricity shortfalls, particularly in the evenings when solar power plants stop generating. Specifically, the NERC report saw as many as 22 hours of energy shortfalls in the California-Mexico region in 2022. Tijuana, Mexico, which is part of the California grid, has seen increased demand and is likely to bear the brunt of any outages. NERC officials do believe there is time to build transmission and additional generation to avoid the shortfalls.
Counties play a key role in providing dependable energy sources. Many counties engage and partner with local utilities in energy planning, including utility-scale renewable energy projects, key regulatory issues, grid modernization and storage and energy assurance strategies. As Congress and the incoming Biden Administration considers energy legislation, NACo seeks a comprehensive, integrated approach to a national energy policy that includes key county priorities.