January 29, 2020 VOM Podcast

A Rush to Renewables?

(34 minutes) Energy and environmental cooperatives, like the Northwest Power Pool, have cautioned about an increasing Loss of Load Probability in our energy future — meaning the likelihood has increased that at some point someone’s lights somewhere are not going to turn on because there is not enough power to go around.

Renewable, clean energy is desirable and the country is hurtling in that direction, yet the Loss of Load Probability grows as more of our coal plants are being taken off-line. The energy and environment council recently put that probability at 33% by the year 2024, and predicted an energy shortfall could last six hours in the summer and up to 23 hours in the winter.

What if that happens at a critical time? How does that affect healthcare, education, commerce and industry? Is this avoidable?

Voices continues to take part in critical discussions as Montana’s and the country’s energy sector transitions. Solar, wind, and hydro power are cleaner than coal and natural gas, but far less dependable, and there are inherent challenges within those industries on top of reliability. Will the rush to renewable energy cause us to stumble in a way that could be avoided?

Listen to the podcast to hear energy sector experts John Hines and Alan Olson discuss the Rush to Renewables, on Voices of Montana, with Tom Schultz